Tories admit having another Christmas party during Covid restrictions last December
The Tories admitted an ‘unauthorised social gathering ‘ took place in the party’s Westminster headquarters on December 14th while the capital was under Tier 2 restrictions
Boris Johnson was facing further questions as it emerged Conservative aides threw a separate party during Covid-19 coronavirus restrictions last December, as the fallout over the alleged rule-breaking Christmas bash in Downing Street continued.
The Tories admitted an event organised by Shaun Bailey’s mayoral campaign took place in the party’s Westminster headquarters on December 14th while the capital was under Tier 2 restrictions.
According to the Times, the “raucous” party took place in the HQ’s basement, was attended by No 10 aides and featured dancing and wine-drinking into the early hours despite indoor social mixing being banned at the time.
The Times reported on Wednesday that Tory staff danced and drank wine late into the night at a “raucous” party held in the basement of the office.
During the event on 14 December, London was under Tier 2 Covid restrictions which meant that indoor socialising between households was banned.
Matt Hancock had given a press conference just hours earlier saying the capital would soon move into Tier 3.
A Tory spokesman said: “Senior CCHQ (Conservative Campaign Headquarters) staff became aware of an unauthorised social gathering in the basement of Matthew Parker Street organised by the Bailey campaign on the evening of December 14.
“Formal disciplinary action was taken against the four CCHQ staff who were seconded to the Bailey campaign”.
The Metropolitan Police acknowledged it had received “a significant amount of correspondence” relating to the alleged breaches in No 10 in the run up to Christmas last year but said they do not “provide evidence of a breach” of Covid rules.
“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,” it added.
But the force did leave open the possibility of further inquiries by saying it would consider “any evidence” that emerges in the Case inquiry.
Meanwhile, Downing Street did not comment on a separate report in the Times that Dan Rosenfield, then Mr Johnson’s incoming chief of staff, took part in the December 18th party while London was under Tier 3 restrictions.
The Prime Minister has repeatedly insisted the rules were followed that night but apologised over the impression made by leaked footage of No 10 staff joking about Covid restrictions.