'Disgusting and indefensible' – Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham blasts Downing Street party video

Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham believes any government officials found to have been flouting Covid rules while people went without seeing loved ones should no longer be employed at the public expense.

By John Deehan
Thursday, 9th December 2021, 11:23 am
Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham wants a full and thorough investigation into allegations a Christmas party was held in Downing Street last year while the country was subject to Covid lockdown restrictions.
Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham wants a full and thorough investigation into allegations a Christmas party was held in Downing Street last year while the country was subject to Covid lockdown restrictions.

Speaking in his Burnley Express column, Mr Higginbotham said he was sickened by the "disgusting and indefensible" video, obtained by ITV, which shows the PM's then-press secretary days joking about an alleged Downing Street Christmas party.

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"The video that is now online, which implies that contrary to what officials were stating there was a staff party in Downing Street is nothing short of disgusting and indefensible," he said. "The video was recorded at a time when everyone locally was having to decide which family members or friends they could spend Christmas with, because we couldn’t mix as normal; or whether it had to be spent alone.

"I think about my own family, where I went without seeing my parents, grandparents, siblings. And of the sacrifices we made as a family, when we were told we were unable to grieve as we would have wanted when a loved one passed away.

"That a group of people seem to have decided those same rules did not apply to them, despite their role in determining them, is sickening. The Cabinet Secretary, as Head of the Civil Service, can and should investigate this thoroughly but I have been clear to ministers that those who have done wrong in that way should no longer be employed at the public expense."