SE London Labour MPs slam PM over No 10 party claims

Labour MPs across south east London slammed the Prime Minister after revelations emerged about a series of alleged Covid rule-breaking parties held in Downing Street last year.

The scandal erupted after leaked footage, obtained by ITV News, showed aides laughing about an alleged social event while rehearsing for subsequently ditched televised press briefings in No 10’s £2.6 million media room.

An initial probe into a gathering on December 18, announced by the PM on Wednesday, has now been widened to include another festive celebration on December 10, and a reported staff leaving do on November 27.

The two December dates coincide with when mixing between households in London was restricted, while England was in a month-long lockdown during November.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures whilst speaking at a press conference in London’s Downing Street (PA)

News Shopper has reached out to local MPs for their views on the issue.

Janet Daby, MP for Lewisham East, said: “I’m appalled at the Tory Government showing disregard for our laws yet again – and the Prime Minister just not caring.

“While my constituents made huge sacrifices last Christmas, at such a special time of year, staff in No.10 decided the rules were for everyone else but not them.

“The Prime Minister and his Cabinet have gone on to lie and lie and lie about this, only making the insult to us worse, while laughing behind the scenes.”

Abena Oppong-Asare, MP Erith and Thamesmead, shared her sentiments, describing the leaked footage as an “appalling breach of trust”.

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She said: “While people in Erith and Thamesmead and across the country were following the rules last Christmas, it is disgraceful that there were multiple parties happening in Downing Street.

“The video showing the Prime Minister’s advisers laughing about breaking the rules reveals the contempt in which this Government holds the public.

“It is an appalling breach of trust with the British people and I fear it will undermine future public health messages from this Government.

“Now it is time for the Prime Minister to come clean about what he knew, and for a full investigation by the police.”

Clive Efford MP, who represents Eltham, added: “The people in the video from No10 were a senior adviser to the PM Ed Oldfield and Allegra Stratton his then press secretary.

“They were rehearsing what to say if questioned over a party that had taken place in No10 four days earlier.

“It is inconceivable that they would have done this if the party had not taken place.

“It is also inconceivable that they would not have warned the PM at the time of the possibility that he would be questioned about it. Parliament and the country has been lied to.”

Sir Bob Neill, MP for Bromley and Chislehurst, is the only Conservative representative from south east London to so far speak out on the issue.

In a statement released yesterday, he said he was “disappointed and angered” by reports of a Downing Street Christmas party, urging those involved to “come clean immediately” and “face the consequences of their actions”.

Gareth Bacon, MP for Orpington, Louie French, MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, David Evennett MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, and Bob Stewart, MP for Beckenham, are yet to comment.

Allegra Stratton, a former spokeswoman for the Prime Minister who featured in the rehearsal, has since resigned while Ed Oldfield, a Downing Street media aide who is heard asking a practice question about a rumoured party, refused to answer questions when approached by Sky News.

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