Bucks MPs respond to No 10 Christmas party allegations

Responses come after ITV News obtained footage showing Boris Johnson’s former staff joking about a “fictional” Number 10 party in December 2020

By Rory Butler , Local Democracy Reporting Service
Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 4:52 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 5:07 pm

Buckinghamshire MPs have reacted to a video showing senior Downing Street staff joking about having a Christmas party during lockdown last year.

Liberal Democrat Sarah Green MP said she was disappointed to learn of claims of a Number 10 party in December 2020, when the rest of the country had to cancel Christmas plans or potentially miss saying goodbye to dying loved ones.

The Chesham and Amersham MP added: “It appears the Prime Minister was breaking his own rules to allow a party in No. 10.”

MP for Buckingham Greg Smith

Conservative MPs Steve Baker (Wycombe) and Greg Smith (Buckingham) both said they were not present.

The responses come after ITV News obtained footage showing Boris Johnson’s then press secretary Allegra Stratton and adviser Ed Oldfield, along with other aides, joking about a “fictional” Number 10 party in December 2020.

“This fictional party was a business meeting…and it was not socially distanced,” joked Ms Stratton.

A source had told the BBC a party did take place on December 18, with “several dozen” attendees, according to a BBC report.

PM Boris Johnson

The Prime Minister has apologised for the video, insisting there was no party and no Covid rules were broken.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said the Prime Minister was “taking the public for fools”.

Sarah Green MP said: “It’s disappointing to learn that whilst the rest of the country cancelled plans, or worse, were unable to say goodbye to a dying loved one last Christmas – it appears the Prime Minister was breaking his own rules to allow a party in No. 10.”

Steve Baker MP said he “was not present”, adding he was ‘looking forward with keen interest’ to how the Prime Minister would respond.

Aylesbury MP Rob Butler

Greg Smith MP said: “Last Christmas was a miserable time for everyone under the tier system and later lockdown restrictions – which is a major part in why I have voted against and will continue to vote against restrictions this Christmas.

“I have no way of finding out for certain if a party did take place in Downing Street last Christmas.

"All I can say is that I was not invited and in any case was at home in Buckinghamshire that night.”

Bucks local Steve Guy, who has previously been Wycombe’s Liberal Democrat general election candidate, said: “People like me…missed out on a last Christmas with a loved one who is no longer here while these Hooray Henrys were taking the p*** out of us.

"Furious doesn’t come close.”

Aylesbury MP Rob Butler and Beaconsfield MP Joy Morrissey did not respond before going to press.