Newly released footage has shown Jacob Rees-Mogg appearing to joke about the pending investigation into the alleged Christmas party at No 10.
The Christmas party scandal hit a high yesterday (December 7), when a video of a reported rehearsal for a TV briefing was leaked, showing Boris Johnson’s former spokesperson Allegra Stratton joke about a Christmas party last year that ‘was not socially distanced’.
The party is alleged to have taken place on December 18, 2020. It is suggested that around 40-50 people attended.
If true, the gathering would have been in defiance of the Covid-19 restrictions in place during the festive period last year.
The gathering is said to be being investigated, something Rees-Mogg appeared to make reference to in another newly released video, reportedly from this year’s Institute of Economic Affairs Christmas party.
The Tory MP can be heard saying:
I see we’re all here obeying regulations, aren’t we? I mean, this party is not going to be investigated by the police in a year’s time.
He continued to address the audience, referencing social distancing rules: ‘You are all very carefully socially distanced… we have moved, I am pleased to tell you, from the metric back to the imperial system. I notice you are all at least two inches away from each other which is, as I understand it, what the regulations require.’
The news comes amid calls for Johnson to step down, with Ian Blackford, the Westminster leader of the SNP calling out the PM: ‘When every individual up and down the country was told to stay at home in order to protect the NHS, the Tories were instead having a Christmas party which, as a senior staff member has now confirmed, was ‘not socially distanced’.
If this is true, then the Prime Minister’s position is untenable and he must remove himself from office immediately.
Johnson has affirmed that ‘all guidelines were observed’, with his spokesperson earlier denying the party took place at all.
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