Former London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey has been accused of lying about his appearance at a rule-breaking Christmas party held for him last December.
The Conservative London Assembly member had previously claimed he was only “briefly” at an illicit party last December to thank staff, before leaving to appear on BBC Newsnight.
But it’s now been reported that he stayed for several hours at the party.
The Newsnight appearance was filmed just minutes from the knees-up at Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ), with Mr Bailey returning afterwards until at least 10pm, The Mirror reports.
READ MORE: Top London Tory ‘must be investigated’ over ‘Lego set gift’ at Christmas party
One Tory colleague told MyLondon they were “furious” about the revelations.
The Tory source said: “I am now dealing with activists who are furious [too]. People had a miserable Christmas alone, then delivered a load of campaign leaflets – then they read about this party.”
Another Tory activist said politicians should be held to a “higher standard,” which Mr Bailey did not meet.
Mr Bailey and his team had claimed he was only briefly at the event on December 14, 2020, stopping to give a short speech and pose for the infamous snap (pictured) before leaving “to appear on Newsnight”.
But a source told the Sunday Mirror this was untrue. The Tory AM had an interview at 6.20pm, before the party began, plus another at 9pm – just minutes from the CCHQ party.
Green Assembly Member Caroline Russell, who sits on the policing committee Mr Bailey chaired, told MyLondon that Tories had told “lies” about the extent of his involvement in the party.
She called for him to quit the Assembly altogether, adding: “If we compare this behaviour with the care and sacrifice that everyone was making last year, it goes completely against the principles and standards of public life.”
Lib Dem AM Caroline Pidgeon added: “As more details are revealed about the party, it seems clear to me that Shaun Bailey must now consider his position as a London Assembly Member.”
The Christmas party is now being probed by police for allegedly breaking Covid rules. At the time, Londoners were banned from mixing indoors.
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The Daily Mirror previously published a photograph of Mr Bailey, Tory candidate in this year’s London mayoral election, at the party – held as the capital was under Tier 2 regulations.
He was shown with 24 others in a small basement room of Conservative Campaign HQ, where there was wine and a buffet. Scotland Yard confirmed officers would be “making contact with two people who attended in relation to alleged breaches” of Covid rules.
Four Tory staffers were disciplined following the Christmas bash.
The Conservative Party said: “We utterly condemn this unauthorised party put on by the Bailey campaign and have taken disciplinary action against staff involved.”
MyLondon revealed that Mr Bailey quit his role on London Assembly’s policing committee just before the party picture was published. However, he still sits as an Assembly member on a near-£60,000 a year salary.
He has apologised for attending the lockdown-busting party. Mr Bailey’s team was contacted for comment.
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