Johnson apologises for offence caused by aides joking about Christmas party
By David Hughes, PA Political Editor
Boris Johnson has ordered an investigation into claims Downing Street staff broke lockdown rules by holding a Christmas party last year and told MPs he was “furious” about footage apparently showing aides joking about it.
The Prime Minister apologised “unreservedly” for the offence caused by the footage of his then-spokeswoman Allegra Stratton at a mock press conference.
But he insisted that he had been repeatedly assured that “there was no party and that no Covid rules were broken”.
Mr Johnson said he had asked Cabinet Secretary Simon Case “to establish all the facts and to report back as soon as possible – and it goes without saying that if those rules were broken then there will be disciplinary action for all those involved”.
At Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Johnson said: “I understand and share the anger up and down the country at seeing No 10 staff seeming to make light of lockdown measures, and I can understand how infuriating it must be to think that people who have been setting the rules have not been following the rules because I was also furious to see that clip.
“I apologise unreservedly for the offence that it has caused up and down the country and I apologise for the impression that it gives.
“But I repeat that I have been repeatedly assured since these allegations emerged that there was no party and that no Covid rules were broken, and that is what I have been repeatedly assured.”