Grant Shapps reacts to Downing Street 'Christmas party'

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps speaking to the media on College Green in Westminster, London. Pict

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps speaking to the media on College Green in Westminster, London. Picture: AARON CHOWN/PA - Credit: PA

While people were spending the festive season 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 December.

We sent the following to Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps:

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 Shapps said: “Like so many across the country, this time last year I was devastated not to be able to visit loved ones. In my case, it was my 89-year-old dad who was so seriously ill in hospital that we believed we wouldn’t see him again.

"I am delighted to report that after four months in hospital and rehabilitation he made a recovery sufficient to return home and is doing well.

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"However, because we respected the rules about trying to prevent the spread of Covid, we were unable to visit him throughout the most desperate of times. It was horrendous, but we understood the sacrifice.

“I, therefore, share the sense of anger on hearing that there may have been a party held by Number 10 staff during a time when we were all in lockdown.

"Trust in politics is really important - without it, good government is impossible.

“I am fully behind the inquiry into this matter which the Prime Minister ordered on Wednesday. This will be carried out by the Cabinet Secretary to find out exactly what happened.

"The PM has already stated that those responsible will face consequences if rules were broken. This is surely the right way to proceed as it follows a proper process and avoids speculation whilst getting to the facts.”

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