Duncan Baker MP 'welcomes' investigation into alleged Christmas party
- Credit: Archant
North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker has said that leaked footage of Downing Street staff joking about an alleged Christmas party is "concerning".
In footage obtained by ITV News, aides to Boris Johnson were filmed joking about a “fictional” Downing Street party in December 2020.
At Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday (December 8), Mr Johnson said he apologised "unreservedly" for the video of the rehearsal press briefing on December 22 last year - but insisted he had been repeatedly assured that “there was no party and that no Covid rules were broken”.
Responding to the footage, Mr Baker said: “Like many constituents, I am extremely upset at the lack of respect and dignity that people working in the very heart of government, who were supposedly leading the country, showed."
He said it signalled "an utter lack of responsibility, whilst people throughout the country were abiding by the rules and sacrificing so much".
"Whilst we are still told there was no Christmas party, the leaked press studio footage gives me great concern," he said.
He welcomed an investigation and said people needed "a clear answer on what went on once and for all".
"If there was a Christmas Party in Downing Street, that is indefensible and I expect full accountability to follow," he added.
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Steffan Aquarone, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for North Norfolk, said that Mr Baker "must condemn Boris Johnson's behaviour and apologise on behalf of his party".
"Boris Johnson's Conservative party is taking this country for fools. People in North Norfolk can see right through his poor excuses and evasive answers," Mr Aquarone said.
"So many of us spent our Christmases away from loved ones, and sadly too many, lost family and friends to this awful virus."
He said it was "disgraceful" that people in Downing Street were laughing about holding a Christmas party "at a time of great sacrifice when the pandemic was at it's worst".
"Enough is enough. This government must be held accountable to an inquiry into all their rule breaking; from Barnard Castle to this latest episode. It cannot be one rule for them and another for the rest of us," Mr Aquarone added.