Tory christmas party causes public outrage

Leaked footage of Downing Street staff laughing and joking about a Christmas party last year has caused public outcry.

Amana Khan
9th December 2021
Image Credit: Flickr
Leaked footage of Downing Street staff laughing and joking about a Christmas party last year has caused public outcry, with calls for Boris Johnson and other Conservative party members to resign. 

Last December, the Prime Minister announced a lockdown which meant that the public were to work from home where possible, not meet with more than two people outdoors, and not to host or attend any Christmas parties.

This resulted in families and friends not being able to see each other over the Christmas period. It was assumed that everyone, including government staff, would follow these rules.

However, over the last week, accusations of a Christmas party involving Conservative MPs and journalists have surfaced. Downing Street has spent the past week refusing that this party had taken place. 

This denial seems to be fictitious with footage showing the Prime Minister’s press chief at the time, Allegra Stratton, laughing and joking about this party, referring it to a ‘business meeting’ and a ‘cheese and wine’ event.

This has caused a major spike in public outage at the government, further fuelling the distrust in Boris Johnson and his party - fueling the belief that there is "one rule for us, and another for them".

The Christmas Party was brought up in the most recent Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs). Mr Johnson apologised, but also claimed that no party had taken place. Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition, argued the Prime Minister "was taking people for fools" and that he "should admit the truth". 

Furthermore, MP Ian Blackford (SNP), called for the resignation of Mr Johnson due to the sacrifices made by the public whilst the “government has laughed in their faces”. Several other MPs also criticised Johnson and his government, and this has all encouraged this idea of Tory distrust, dishonesty, and deception. 

Boris has repeatedly denied his involvement, but this has come in to question considering his role as leader of the Conservative Party, as well as Stratton being his Press Chief at the time. 

Despite his denials, at PMQs Johnson called for an internal inquiry to determine the details of the alleged parties and if any Covid restrictions were breached. Cabinet Secretary Simon Case will undertake this inquiry, with Johnson promising "disciplinary action" for those found to be involved.

Allegra Stratton has since resigned from her post as the Prime Ministers spoke person on COP26, apologising for her commments. Saying that "my remarks seemed to make light of the rules, rules that people were doing everything to obey". Going on to say "I understand the anger and frustration that people feel. To all of you who lost loved ones, endured intolerable loneliness and struggled with your businesses".

In the wake of the "Tory sleaze" scandal, this has only added to a sense of distrust, dishonesty, and deception in the Conservative Party, as well as raising questions on why the public should follow COVID restrictions when the government does not take them seriously.

Critics have said that government’s repeated lies and corruption has damaged their popularity and reputation. More crucially though, this may have affected any chance they have in delivering effective COVID policies during this new wave. 

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