Jacob Rees-Mogg caught on video joking about No 10 Christmas party fiasco

The cabinet minister joked about potential police investigations to crowd at think thank

Holly Bancroft
Wednesday 08 December 2021 11:24
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Related: Leaked recording shows Downing Street staff joking about Christmas party in No.10

A video has emerged of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg joking about the Christmas party that was reportedly held at No 10 last year.

The Conservative MP joked about police investigating the event at this year’s Christmas party for the think tank Institute of Economic Affairs.

In a video unearthed by political blog Guido Fawkes, Mr Rees-Mogg told the audience on Monday evening: “I see we’re all here obeying regulations, aren’t we?”

He continued: “I mean, this party is not going to be investigated by the police in a year’s time. You are all very carefully socially distanced.. we have moved, I am pleased to tell you, from the metric back to the Imperial system: I notice you are all at least two inches away from each other which is, as I understand it, what the regulations require.”

His comments came after a video emerged yesterday of former No 10 press secretary Allegra Stratton practicing answering questions about the party in a mock televised briefing last year. She was asked by Ed Oldfield, a special adviser to the Prime Minister, about “reports” that there had been a Christmas party in Downing Street the previous Friday, to which Ms Stratton asked staff: “What’s the answer?”

Prime minister Boris Johnson is facing growing anger about the Christmas party, which would have broken lockdown restrictions at the time if it took place.

Boris Johnson’s official spokesperson has repeatedly denied that a party took place while London as in Tier 3 lockdown restrictions and said that Covid rules had been followed at all times.

In the video Allegra Stratton jokes about the “fictional” party involving “cheese and wine” and said that “it was not socially distanced”.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called on Boris Johnson to “come clean and apologise”. The Metropolitan Police said on Tuesday that it was examining the video of Downing Street staff as part of a review of the alleged breaches.

Tory MP Charles Walker reacted to the video, saying: “The No 10 party means that any future lockdowns will be advisory, whatever the law says.”

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