Two more Boris Johnson aides under pressure over Downing Street Christmas party

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more of Boris Johnson’s aides have been below mounting force on Thursday night over their alleged involvement in the Downing Boulevard Christmas party.

Jack Doyle, now Mr Johnson’s director of communications, is known to have handed awards to group of workers at the experience on Dec 18, stated to had been attended by way of as much as 50 other folks.

Mr Doyle, at that point deputy communications chief, also gave a speech thanking members of his crew for his or her efforts over the year. Alternatively, resources aware of the situation informed ITV News that senior figures ceaselessly thanked workforce at the end of the week, and stated such occasions were not unusual.

On Thursday night, Downing Street persisted to maintain that the development was no longer a celebration and that no Covid laws have been broken.

It got here as the different adviser who put Allegra Stratton at the spot at a rehearsal press convention used to be stressed to surrender after assets insisted he had attended the event.

Ed Oldfield is heard asking Ms Stratton on video pictures whether she had seen “stories on Twitter that there has been a Downing Side Road Christmas birthday celebration on Friday night time”. Ms Stratton, guffawing nervously, responds: “I went home.”

On Thursday evening, assets insisted she were telling the reality and had most effective in brief “popped into” the celebration earlier than going home to her circle of relatives while Mr Oldfield, Downing Boulevard’s head of broadcast, had attended for some hours.

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That disclosure has precipitated calls for Mr Oldfield, who is 24 and the son of a Conservative birthday celebration donor, to resign amid growing fear that Ms Stratton were scapegoated.

A former Cupboard minister said: “I Have looked at the video – she gave the impression in the video to be bewildered. She’s been made into the autumn man here. i believe the ones asking her the questions have to be resigning, as a result of at the same time as she was likely not at the birthday party, they potentially were. She is clearly less culpable – but if those people were there, they clearly must go.”

Andrew Mitchell, a former Cabinet minister, mentioned: “i don’t like the way Allegra used to be treated and obliged to come back out onto her doorstep in tears and made to recant when she used to be no longer a foremost figure involved within the wrongdoing.”

A smartly positioned source mentioned on Thursday: “That Is tough justice. Allegra had popped into the event for only a little while ahead of going home, just as she mentioned at the practice session video. However Ed used to be at the birthday celebration, together with a lot of alternative folks in that room.”

Mr Oldfield did not reply to requests for comment on Thursday. Pursued down the road by means of a Sky Information reporter, he to remark whilst requested time and again: “Are you making plans to surrender?”

Buddies of Ms Stratton have advised The Telegraph she feels “betrayed” and “deeply harm” by means of the leaking of the video to ITV News, the place she had worked prior to taking on a job in Whitehall.

The Telegraph is aware the video was sent to Nathan Lee, who have been her producer whilst she used to be UNITED KINGDOM editor of ITV Information. Ms Stratton has instructed buddies she understood that ITV had its own process to do in breaking the story however was once disappointed that she had not been contacted by former friends and colleagues and warned of its approaching broadcast.

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The Federal Government on Thursday announced that Simon Case, The Cabinet Secretary, may extend his research to seem into claims that three parties took place last 12 months whilst London used to be underneath strict Covid restrictions.

Michael Ellis, The Cabinet Workplace minister, said Mr Case may additionally check out allegations of a leaving do in Number 10 on Nov 27 and a gathering on the Department for Education on Dec 10.

It comes after The Telegraph revealed that Lord Lister, the previous Number 10 chief of personnel, had allegedly joined the Top Minister on the leaving do in November, when the rustic was in its 2d lockdown. 

Insiders present have confirmed that Mr Johnson gave a speech at the event, attended through approximately 30 press officers and aides.

The initial inquiry were targeted solely on the alleged Christmas party at Quantity 10 on Dec 18, prompting claims that Mr Johnson was seeking to exclude different occasions in which he allegedly participated.

Mr Ellis instructed MPs on Thursday: “The Main purpose of The Cabinet Secretary’s investigation might be to impulsively determine a general working out of the character of the gatherings, together with attendance, the surroundings and the purpose, and in regards to adherence to the steering in position on the time.

“If required, the research will identify whether or not person disciplinary action is warranted”.

He stated that ministers, different advisers and civil servants might be “expected to cooperate with this research”. In The terms of reference for the investigation, it emerged that he may have scope to enlarge his inquiries will have to “credible allegations in the case of other gatherings” come to mild.

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At The Same Time As anger a number of the public and MPs has earlier centred on allegations about the Christmas birthday celebration, there are ideas that as many as seven gatherings took place in Westminster among November and December in breach of Covid regulations.

are purported to have took place on Nov THIRTEEN, the day former Number 10 aides Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain resigned following a power battle with Carrie Johnson.

In The Meantime, The Days disclosed that, on Dec 14, advisers at Conservative Birthday Party headquarters held a celebration with Shaun Bailey, the then Tory candidate for the London mayoralty. greater than dozen aides and volunteers are stated to were provide on the allegedly “raucous” bash, which led to damage to a door.

only a day after Boris Johnson told the public that Christmas events may just cross beforehand, Downing Boulevard confirmed it would now not hang a Christmas party this year. A spokesman said: “Number 10 is focused on tackling the rise of the new omicron variation and the continuing pandemic, and there are subsequently no plans for a celebration at the same time as this intensive paintings is ongoing.”

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