Nine Covid deaths occurred in Aylesbury Vale at time of No 10 'Christmas party'

There were also 815 positive Covid-19 cases recorded between December 12 and 18 last year

Thursday, 9th December 2021, 12:34 pm

Nine people died with coronavirus in Aylesbury Vale during the week of an alleged Downing Street Christmas party, figures reveal.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered an investigation into claims staff broke lockdown rules by holding a party at Number 10 last year, and told MPs he was “furious” about footage apparently showing aides joking about it.

Mr Johnson apologised for the offence caused by the leaked video but insisted he had been repeatedly assured “there was no party and that no Covid rules were broken” on December 18.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered an investigation into claims staff broke lockdown rules by holding a party at Number 10 last year, and told MPs he was “furious” about footage apparently showing aides joking about it

Figures from the UK coronavirus daily dashboard show nine deaths occurred in Aylesbury Vale between December 12 and 18 last year.

There were also 815 positive Covid-19 cases recorded in the area over the seven-day period.

And 1,986 Covid-19 patients were admitted to hospitals across the South East between December 12-18 – among almost 12,000 throughout England.

The Prime Minister’s intervention followed a week of official insistence that no party took place when London was under Tier 3 restrictions – despite reports staff drank alcohol and exchanged Secret Santa gifts.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the Prime Minister’s apology raises more questions than answers as he had been “caught red-handed”.

He added: “Millions of people now think the Prime Minister was taking them for fools, that they were lied to. They are right aren’t they?”

Mr Johnson's adviser and former press secretary Allegra Stratton emotionally resigned after leaked footage showed her laughing as she appeared to rehearse answers to questions over a lockdown-busting Christmas party.

The video from No 10’s £2.6 million press briefing room, which is reported to be from December 22 last year, refers to a party on “Friday” – the same day The Daily Mirror reported there was a staff party where games were played, food and drinks were served, and revelries went on past midnight.

At this time, coronavirus restrictions were being reintroduced across many parts of the UK ahead of Christmas amid fears over the emergence of the 'Delta' variant.

Mr Johnson agreed that any evidence uncovered about parties in Downing Street would be handed over to police.

Statistics published by the National Police Chiefs' Council reveal a total of 77 fixed penalty notices were issued by Thames Valley Police for breaches of Covid-19-related laws between November 17 and December 20 last year.

They included two for holding a gathering of more than 30 people.

And by December 22 – the day the leaked video was apparently filmed – separate figures from the Department of Health and Social Care reveal that more than a quarter of care homes in England were no longer permitting residents to receive visitors as Covid-19 infection levels rose across the country.