MP Oliver Dowden reacts to Downing Street 'party'
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While people were spending Christmas without their loved ones, dying alone in hospital or working on the frontline to keep us safe, an alleged Christmas party was supposedly being held at Downing Street last festive season.
ITV News has released a damning video, which appears to show the prime minister's former press secretary Allegra Stratton laughing at a mock press conference after being asked about a party - that is alleged to have happened four days earlier, on December 18, when London was in tier three restrictions and gatherings were illegal.
The Welwyn Hatfield Times sent the following to Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden:
As a Conservative MP and cabinet minister, what should happen next? Did you know about the party or did you or any of your staff attend that, or any parties, last Christmas?
691 people died with covid on the day the Allegra Stratton mock presser took place - and it appears to show the PM's staff laughing about a party and working on covering their backs if the party was leaked. Public feeling is that it's a rule for those in power and another for the public - the very people making limitations on our liberty were breaking the rules and laughing at us, and people are angry.
Do you think this undermines public confidence in politicians? Are you worried your constituents won't follow any future guidance regarding Covid-safe measures which come about due to Omicron and other variants?
Mr Dowden said:
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"Like everyone, I was deeply concerned to see Downing Street officials joking about the restrictions we imposed on the country and share the anger people rightly feel.
"The prime minister has repeatedly assured that all Coronavirus guidance has been followed in Downing Street at all times. He has rightly tasked the Cabinet Secretary to investigate and establish the facts of what may have taken place given the recent reports and has said disciplinary action would be taken if rules were indeed broken.
"I did not attend any Christmas parties last year and I of course agree the Government should abide by the rules we set and expect others to follow."