Watch: Video appears to show Tories mocking rules at Covid-era Christmas party
Footage has emerged appearing to show Tory Party staff dancing and joking about Covid restrictions during the height of the pandemic at a Christmas party.
In the video, obtained by the Mirror, one attendee can be heard saying: “As long as we don’t stream that we’re, like, bending the rules,” before laughing while a man and woman hold hands and dance.
The pair crash into a buffet table stacked with food and wine glasses at one point, while other guests walk past wearing paper crowns and clutching alcoholic drinks.
At least 24 people were reportedly at the party which took place at Conservative Party headquarters on December 14 2020, when indoor socialising was banned under Tier 2 restrictions.
Whilst we locked down and spent Christmas alone to protect our families and loved ones
The Tories were doing this. They broke the rules and put lives at risk
— NHS Nurses (@SocialistNHS) June 17, 2023
Scotland Yard launched an investigation after the Daily Mirror published a picture of the gathering, but concluded that the photo by itself was not sufficient evidence to find an offence had been committed.
The force has been contacted for comment over the latest report.
CCHQ said “formal disciplinary action” was taken against four staff members, who were seconded to the campaign of London Mayor hopeful Shaun Bailey, over the “unauthorised” event.
The failed candidate – who was handed a peerage by former prime minister Boris Johnson in his controversial resignation honours list – has previously apologised for the event.
The footage is likely to cause problems for Rishi Sunak, who is already battling to hold his party together amid a fallout over the report that found Mr Johnson lied about partygate, after drawing condemnation from opposition parties.
It has already reignited criticism over his position on his predecessor-but-one’s resignation appointments, with Tory aide Ben Mallett – awarded an OBE on the list – also visible in the video.
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said the footage shows Tories “openly mocked the rules the British people followed” while Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper said it should make ministers “sick to their stomachs”.
“Revellers at this lockdown Tory booze-up openly mocked the rules the British people followed. The Tories think it’s one rule for them and one rule for everyone else,” Ms Rayner said.
“Instead of forcing them to face the consequences, Rishi Sunak has caved into Boris Johnson’s demands and chosen to reward them with honours. It’s a sickening insult.
“This Prime Minister is failing to deliver the integrity he promised and showing he’s too weak to turn the page on 13 years of Tory scandal.”
Ms Cooper said: “Conservative MPs and ministers should be sick to their stomachs seeing this new Partygate footage.
“While families grieved and NHS staff worked on the front line, Conservative Campaign Headquarters partied.
“What’s worse is the current Prime Minister granted Boris Johnson’s request to give some of these people honours.
“There are thousands of families out there who deserve an apology for this scandal – Rishi Sunak should give them one immediately.”
A CCHQ spokesman said: “Senior CCHQ staff became aware of an unauthorised social gathering in the basement of Matthew Parker Street organised by the Bailey campaign on the evening of December 14 2020.
“Formal disciplinary action was taken against the four CCHQ staff who were seconded to the Bailey campaign.”
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