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Downing Street special advisor heard joking in leaked video is former public schoolboy

The Downing Street special adviser heard joking on the now-notorious video about a lockdown-busting party at Number 10 is a former public schoolboy and son of the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Kent, MailOnline can reveal.

Ed Oldfield, 23, was heard sharing a giggle with Boris Johnson‘s former press secretary Allegra Stratton in a mock news conference in the shameful leaked footage that prompted Ms Stratton to resign from her £125,000-a-year government job this afternoon.

Mr Oldfield was heard on the tape saying ‘I’ve just seen reports on Twitter that there was a Downing Street Christmas Party on Friday night – do you recognise those reports?’

Ms Stratton initially replies: ‘I went home..’ then laughs, adds, ‘hold on’, to which Mr Oldfield adds: ‘Would the Prime Minister condone having a Christmas Party?’

Ed Oldfield, 23, the Downing Street special adviser heard joking on the now-notorious video about a lockdown-busting party at Number 10 is a former public schoolboy

Ms Stratton laughs and says ‘What’s the answer?’ to which Mr Oldfield, also laughing, replies ‘I don’t know’, and another staffer suggests ‘It wasn’t a party… it was cheese and wine’.

Mr Olfield, a former pupil at £34,000-a-year the King’s School in Rochester, Kent, comes from a family whose recent history has been marred by tragedy, MailOnline has learned.

The Downing Street whizzkid is the son of an investment banker and his elder half-brother Henry died of a drug overdose, aged 25, four years ago.

And Ed’s father Richard, 66, a former Vice Lord Lieutenant of Kent, was in a car accident involving the death of a young motorcyclist a few months after Henry’s death.

Henry, a trained pilot, had been battling drink and drugs for ‘many years’, a witness into his death heard in early 2018. He checked into rehab in February 2017, but fled after two months and boarded a plane to Bogota, Colombia.

The court heard he called his father the day before he died, sounding ‘clear-headed’, and Mr Oldfield, who lives at the plush 85-acre Dodding Place Gardens estate near Sittingbourne, Kent, offered to fly out to see his son.

The Downing Street Special Advisor is also the son of the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Kent (right)

The Downing Street Special Advisor is also the son of the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Kent (right)

But the next day he was found dead in his Bogota hotel room, with a post-mortem examination revealing he had died from a ‘cocktail of drugs’, including psychotic substances and cocaine.

The short hearing was told Mr Oldfield’s son had told him he was ‘coming home soon’.

Coroner Allison Summers, recording a verdict of accidental death, said: ‘This is a profoundly sad case.

‘Unfortunately, it is too often the case that drug-users who relapse after a period of abstinence can inadvertently overdose because their bodies’ tolerance to the drugs has lowered.’

Richard Oldfield told Kent Online: ‘Henry was an absolutely lovely boy. He had lots of friends and a family who adored him. We will miss him terribly.’

In October 2017, Richard Oldfield found himself at another inquest after motorcyclist Alexander Politowicz, 32, died after ploughing into his car.

The court heard that Mr Oldfield’s visibility was limited by overgrown hedgerows at a country road junction near his home, forcing him to pull into the road in front of the motorcycle.

Neither motorist was found to be culpable, and toxicology tests showed the motorcyclist had taken nothing that might affect his driving.

Mr Oldfield, driving an Audi Q5, likewise passed police roadside breath, drug and eyesight tests. Officers established he had not been using a mobile phone at the time of the collision.

Assistant coroner Eileen Sproson concluded the death was caused by road traffic collision.

The inquest heard Kent County Council subsequently cut back the verges and kept them clear of road signs.

In 2014, aged just 15, Ed Oldfield wrote a piece in the Daily Telegraph about his lifelong struggle with ADHD.

A pupil at the King’s School (motto: disce aut discede – learn or leave), he said he was regarded as the class clown, never able to fulfil his full potential.

The previous year, after being diagnosed, he was prescribed Ritalin, which he said left him ‘devastated’, adding: ‘It was hard to believe things were so bad that I had to take a mood–altering substance.’

He said his prospects of finishing his education at King’s looked bleak, but added: ‘I don’t wish to sound arrogant, but my school reports often stated that I had the ability to flourish academically.

‘But I know my behaviour in class was shocking: unable to focus myself, I made the lives of my teachers difficult by playing the class joker and distracting everyone else.

‘In certain subjects it was almost guaranteed that I would spend most of the lesson standing outside the classroom. By last September, my Religious Studies teacher was so fed up with me that he threatened to ban me from his classes.’

While being careful to advise people not to use Ritalin without a medical prescription, he described a profound transformation.

‘Initially, the drug had little effect, but after a few weeks, something strange began happening. I was starting to be able to concentrate for the first time in years and those top marks began to appear, especially in the previously dreaded Religious Studies.’

Intriguingly, given his present job, one of the subjects he began to excel in was Information and communications Technology (ICT), and his subject teacher commented: ‘He is more approachable, easier to have a decent and mature conversation with and, above all, there have been large improvements in his work.’

Richard Oldfield’s first wife, Alexandra, died when his son Henry was just three and his Mr Oldfield remarried Amicia de Moubray, Ed’s mother, in 1997.

Ed has two other siblings, Leonara and Christopher.

The family home – a Grade II-listed Victorian mansion – was built for Sir John Croft in 1870 by the architect Charles Brown Trollope.

It was sold in 1906 to General and Mrs. Douglas Jeffreys, who left it to their nephew, Labour MP John ‘Jack’ Richard Anthony Oldfield, who moved into the home in 1953 with wife Jonnet Elizabeth Richards.

John Oldfield died at the age of 100 in 1999, and the home was left to his cousin Richard Oldfield.

Doddington Place Gardens is known for its stunning rock garden and pools, a sunken garden and extensive lawns and woodland,

The house and gardens were the backdrop to the 1992 film Waterland, which starred Jeremy Irons and real-life wife Sinead Cusack – along with Ethan Hawke and Pete Postlethwaite.


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