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New leaked video shows No10 staff JOKING about Christmas party and branding it a ‘business meeting’

New leaked video shows Downing Street staff JOKING about their Christmas party and branding it a ‘business meeting’ to avoid being caught out in new video that raises further questions about legality of festive gathering

  • Leaked footage shows Downing Street aides taking part in fake press conference
  • Allegra Stratton, then the PM’s press secretary, is seen laughing as she rehearses a question on the Christmas party
  • Asked if Boris Johnson would condone a party she replies ‘What’s the answer?’
  • Comes as No10 is questioned over potential breached of social distancing rules 
  • Mr Johnson has claimed rules ‘were followed’ while other ministers have refused to answer


Downing Street aides joked branding their Christmas party as a ‘business meeting’ to hide the fact it broke Covid laws, a new video suggested tonight.

They they took part in a fake press conference just days after the alleged December 18 event last year which has raised legal questions and denials of wrongdoing from No10.

The clip, discovered by ITV news, shows Allegra Stratton, then the PM’s press secretary, and Ed Oldfield, No10’s head of digital, rehearsing a question and answer session in the No9 briefing room.

In it Oldfield asks a question about ‘a Downing Street Christmas party on Friday night’, to which Ms Stratton laughed and replied: ‘I went home.’ 

When he asked if the Prime Minister would condone such a party, a third voice can be heard saying ‘it wasn’t a party, it was cheese and wine’, before Ms Stratton added: ‘It was a business meeting … this fictional party was a business meeting and it was not socially distanced.’

The footage was released after Boris Johnson had earlier refused to answer questions about the gathering, with questions raised over whether it breached social distancing rules in place at the time.

Asked about it on a visit to a London prison today he would only say that all the rules had been followed at the time.  Other ministers have refused to confirm if a party happened or not.

Sir Keir Starmer responded to the footage of Downing St aides joking about the party by saying that Boris Johnson needed to ‘come clean and apologise’.

The Labour leader said: ‘People across the country followed the rules even when that meant being separated from their families, locked down and – tragically for many – unable to say goodbye to their loved ones.

‘They had a right to expect that the government was doing the same.

The clip, discovered by ITV news shows Allegra Stratton, then the PM’s press secretary, and Ed Oldfield, No10’s head of digital, rehearsing a question and answer session in the No9 briefing room.

In it Oldfield asks a question about 'a Downing Street Christmas party on Friday night', to which Ms Stratton laughed and replied: 'I went home.'

In it Oldfield asks a question about ‘a Downing Street Christmas party on Friday night’, to which Ms Stratton laughed and replied: ‘I went home.’

The footage was released after Boris Johnson had earlier refused to answer questions about the gathering, with questions raised over whether it breached social distancing rules in place at the time.

The footage was released after Boris Johnson had earlier refused to answer questions about the gathering, with questions raised over whether it breached social distancing rules in place at the time.

‘To lie and to laugh about those lies is shameful. The Prime Minister now needs to come clean, and apologise. 

‘It cannot be one rule for the Conservatives and another for everyone else.’

In response to the footage, a Downing Street spokesman said: ‘There was no Christmas party. Covid rules have been followed at all times.’

Parties were banned under Covid restrictions at the time. Mr Johnson has not confirmed or denied reports that members of his Downing Street team staged a party on December 18 last year when London was under Tier 3 restrictions but he has insisted that no rules were broken.

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab reignited the party row yesterday after he said it would have been a clear breach of Covid rules at the time if Mr Johnson’s staff held a party in Number 10 in the run-up to last Christmas. 

The PM today insisted no rules were broken, after the Times reported that staff wore festive jumpers and were asked to bring ‘secret Santa’ gifts.

They were reported to have brought alcohol and food to the event said to have been attended by dozens of colleagues

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