London Covid: Sadiq Khan says lives will be lost after No 10 Christmas party scandals

Londoners could die as a result of people being less likely to follow Covid rules, Sadiq Khan has said, as the scandal surrounding No 10 rule-breaking grows.

The Mayor of London said that the spate of scandals surrounding senior Tories hosting rule-breaking parties last year will damage Londoners’ trust, leading to more reckless behaviour.

There are now reports of seven Christmas parties featuring senior Tories, alleged to have taken place during bans on indoor mixing last year.

The Mayor of London told MyLondon that reports of parties at No 10 last year – while millions were forced to cancel Christmas plans – “give the impression there’s one rule for Downing Street, and another rule for Londoners.”

READ MORE: London Tories admit throwing Christmas party under Covid restrictions last year

Mr Khan said: “Many Londoners experienced bereavement over the last 19 months, and couldn’t see their loved ones towards the end of their lives.

“Many people couldn’t even go to funerals as they wanted to. Many of us made massive sacrifices. That’s why it’s so serious those who make the rules, don’t break the rules.”

Asked whether Londoners might die as a result of fewer people following the rules, Mr Khan said: “It’s very difficult for us to persuade people to follow the rules when they see on a day when the rules are being expanded, for rule-makers to be flagrantly breaking them…

“If people don’t follow the rules because of the rule-makers breaking the rules, that can lead to more people catching the virus, consequences being more serious, and I’m afraid, lives being lost.”

However, the Mayor refused to call for the Prime Minister to quit over the mounting scandals.

“One thing that will lead to the PM not resigning is me calling for him to resign,” he said.

Mr Khan’s comments came just hours before it emerged that another “raucous” Christmas party had been held for then-mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey AM on 14 December, leading to several of his staffers being disciplined.

City Hall Labour has now called for Mr Bailey to quit his post as chair of the London Assembly’s policing committee, where he scrutinises the Met and City Hall on crime.

On Wednesday the Prime Minister’s former spokesperson resigned as a government adviser, after a leaked video showed her joking about the No 10 Christmas party last year.

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