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The Metropolitan Police have announced they will not be investigating the controversial Downing Street Christmas party.
The Christmas party at Downing Street has been the center of controversy this week after leaked video showed government staff joking with each other about having the party.
The fall out from the leaked video has been extensive today, December 8, as the main staff member seen in the video, Boris Johnson‘s former spokesperson Allegra Stratton, has quit and members of parliament are calling for the Prime Minister to resign.
At a press conference held today, Johnson announced that The Met Police would be investigating the party to see if any rules or laws were broken. Now, just moments after the press conference ended, the force announced they won’t be going through with the investigation.
In the leaked video, obtained by ITV News, Stratton can be seen at the podium, making jokes to another member of staff, Ed Oldfield. In the video, she is heard laughing while saying, ‘it was not socially distanced’.
Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, Johnson ‘apologised unreservedly’ for what was seen in the leaked video, but claimed he had been ‘repeatedly assured there was no party and that no COVID rules were broken’.
According to a statement released by The Met Police, the video does not provide enough evidence to warrant an investigation:
The Metropolitan Police Service has received a significant amount of correspondence relating to allegations reported in the media that the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations were breached at gatherings at No 10 Downing Street in November and December 2020.
All this correspondence has been considered by detectives in detail, as well as footage published by ITV News. The correspondence and footage does not provide evidence of a breach of the Health Protection Regulations, but restates allegations made in the media.
Based on the absence of evidence and in line with our policy not to investigate retrospective breaches of such Regulations, the Met will not commence an investigation at this time.
The Met has had discussions with the Cabinet Office in relation to the investigation by the Cabinet Secretary. If any evidence is found as a result of that investigation, it will be passed to the Met for further consideration.
While the investigation was cancelled, Boris Johnson announced new Covid restrictions.
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