December 9, 2021 5.20 pm

Lincolnshire MP “disgusted” by Downing Street Christmas parties

“We cannot have one rule for them and another for the rest”

MP for Gainsborough Sir Edward Leigh has slammed those who attended reported Christmas parties at 10 Downing Street while under lockdown conditions last year, calling for them to be disciplined.

Christmas party-gate has sent the country into frenzy this week, after The Daily Mirror reported that the Prime Minister’s staff breached government’s own COVID-19 rules by holding festive parties at Downing Street in 2020, despite London being in tier three lockdown at the time.

What started with just one party has now been uncovered to be numerous, with an official investigation into three different government bashes from late last year now being launched by a top civil servant.

The Prime Minister’s then-press secretary Allegra Stratton was seen on leaked video footage laughing and joking about the party, saying “this fictional party was a business meeting and was not socially distanced” during a mock TV briefing last year.

This incident caused uproar with the British public, and prompted Stratton to resign as a political adviser on Wednesday evening, following an intense Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons that same afternoon.

As well as this, a video emerged of Leader of the House of Commons and Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg making jokey remarks about police investigating parliament parties at this year’s Institute of Economic Affairs Christmas bash.

Rees-Mogg, however, has not resigned from his position despite calls for him to do so.

The Lincolnite sought after responses from all of Greater Lincolnshire’s MPs about this topic, though just Martin Vickers (Cleethorpes) and Holly Mumby-Croft (Scunthorpe) responded at the time of publication.

Mr Vickers said he understood and shared the “anger and frustration” of his constituents, but did say that the idea the party would have taken place on the PM’s watch is “fanciful.”

Mumby-Croft told us that she had been working with residents at the time of the alleged party and appreciated the “personal sacrifices” made by the public during lockdown.

She said: “Having privately voiced my frank views to the government yesterday, it is good to see that the Prime Minister has made an apology in the House of Commons and that he has instructed the Cabinet Secretary to conduct a full investigation into this matter.”

Now, Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh has responded, saying the situation has left him feeling “very disappointed and disgusted”, as he could not spend Christmas with all his family due to restrictions.

Sir Edward Leigh MP | Photo: The Lincolnite

Sir Edward told The Lincolnite: “I am very disappointed and disgusted with what has happened. I couldn’t see half my family on Christmas Day because of the restrictions.

“The Prime Minister was not present and has assured us he didn’t know about these gatherings.

“Those attending, however, should most definitely be disciplined.

“We cannot have one rule for them and another for the rest of us, and both civil servants and political appointees must lead by example.”

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