The Prime Minister has apologised “unreservedly” for the offence caused by the footage of his then-spokeswoman Allegra Stratton at a mock press conference last year.
Boris Johnson told MPs during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday that he has orderd in investigation into a Christmas party which took place on 18 December last year.
Johnson told MPs that he was “furious” over the leaked footage where the Prime Minister’s aides were “laughing” and joking about the Christmas party, but he still denied that this party took place.
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.”
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.”
Sir Charles Walker, a former vice-chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs, said the Government is likely to now find it “almost impossible” to introduce “very proscriptive” Covid-19 restrictions due to the ongoing sleaze.
Sir Charles told Times Radio, “I think now that, going forward, any measures will be advisory. I think it would be very difficult to enshrine them in law and then once again ask our poor police forces to enforce them.”
The Metropolitan Police have now confirmed they are reviewing the leaked Downing Street video in relation to “alleged breaches” of coronavirus regulations.