Former Boris Johnson spox Allegra Stratton
United Kingdom – ITV News obtained video of Boris Johnson’s then spokeswoman Allegra Stratton laughing about a Christmas party they had amid last winter’s lockdown – but later denied.
The PM and senior officials have denied there was a “boozy” Christmas party on December 18, 2020 in Downing Street.
According to reports from British media, 40-50 people attended the party while London was under a strict Tier 3 lockdown.
Apparently Covid lockdowns and restrictions are only for the peasants.
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Senior Downing Street staff joked about holding a Christmas party in Number 10 just four days after the event is alleged to have taken place last December, a recording leaked to ITV News has revealed.
Staff can be heard laughing and making references to “cheese and wine”, while Boris Johnson’s then spokesperson Allegra Stratton remarked there was “definitely no social distancing.”
The recording is of a rehearsal on December 22 for Downing Street’s proposed daily TV media briefings, which Ms Stratton was set to front before they were later abandoned.
Staff in the 9 Downing Street press room pose mock questions to help with her preparation.
Ed Oldfield, adviser to the prime minister, asks: “I’ve just seen reports on Twitter that there was a Downing Street Christmas party on Friday night, do you recognise those reports?”
“I went home”, replies Ms Stratton, laughing, before composing herself, telling colleagues to “hold on”, as she appears to consider what her answer should be.
“Umm, errr, ahhhh,” are the noises she makes as she looks around the room, apparently stuck for words.
Following a long pause, Mr Oldfield asks: “Would the prime minister condone having a Christmas party?”
Ms Stratton laughs, looking down, before responding, “what’s the answer?”
Staff then attempt to help the PM’s former spokesperson formulate a response.
“It wasn’t a party, it was cheese and wine”, replies one.
“Is cheese and wine alright?” Ms Stratton asks. At that point the staff member who made the cheese and wine comment seems to say “No… joking”.
Ms Stratton adds “it was a business meeting”, as she laughs again.
She then warns her colleagues, “this is recorded” and states through more laughter, “this fictional party was a business meeting and it was not socially distanced.”
‘This fictional party was a business meeting… and it wasn’t socially distanced’
Video obtained by @ITVNews shows No10 staff laughing about a Downing Street party last Christmas
Watch analysis from @PaulbrandITV and @Peston on News at Ten
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— ITV News (@itvnews) December 7, 2021