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Incredible picture shows 24 people huddled together at lockdown breaching Christmas party at Tory HQ

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An extraordinary image has emerged of Tory aides in Westminster throwing a party last Christmas in blatant breach of lockdown rules.

The picture – obtained by The Mirror – shows 24 people gathered in a medium-sized room in the party’s HQ building.

Some members of the party are wearing paper hats. One aide is sporting a House of Commons Christmas jumper.

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The event was organised by Shaun Bailey’s mayoral campaign and took place on December 14 2020, while London was in tier two.

Mr Bailey quit as chair of the London Assembly’s police and crime committee after he was approached by The Mirror for comment.

In the image guests – including billionaire Tory donor Nick Candy – raise glasses of wine next to a catered buffet.

One of the partygoers was a senior figure on Boris Johnson’s leadership election campaign.

The image follows news of a Christmas party in which Tory staff danced and rank wine late into the night at an event described as “raucous”.

At the time, social mixing between households indoors was banned under restrictions in London.

The next day, Number 10 hosted its festive quiz, where Boris Johnson was pictured reading questions.

Hours before the party then health secretary Matt Hancock announced London would be placed under Tier three restrictions.

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A Conservative spokesman said: “Senior CCHQ staff became aware of an unauthorised social gathering in the basement of [CCHQ] organised by the Bailey campaign on the evening of 14th December.

“Formal disciplinary action was taken against the four CCHQ staff who were seconded to the Bailey campaign.”

Scotland Yard has so far refused to investigate retrospective breaches of coronavirus regulations.

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner told The Mirror: “This is damning new evidence of a party, with a buffet, drinks, Christmas attire and absolutely no social distancing held at Conservative Party HQ.

“Shaun Bailey is an elected official that is clearly breaking Covid regulations in this photo and encouraging the same of his staff.

“Whilst everyone else was making sacrifices to keep their community safe, the chair of the Police and Crime committee in the Greater London Authority was partying.

“His position as chair was untenable and he knew that.”

Mr Bailey, who does not drink alcohol, reportedly left the party early in the evening, not long after the picture was taken.

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https://www.mylondon.news/news/incredible-picture-shows-24-people-22464671