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Downing Street WON’T hold Christmas party this year because No10 wants to ‘focus on tackling Omicron’

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DOWNING Street WON’T hold a Christmas party this year because No10 wants to “focus on tackling Omicron.”

Festive celebrations are still allowed to take place this year, but No10 officials will be focusing on the “intensive work” needed to beat the mutant virus instead.

Alamy

No10 won’t be hosting a Christmas party this year[/caption]

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “As the Prime Minister said Christmas parties can continue to go ahead under Plan B.

“Everyone should continue to behave cautiously and we recommend people take lateral flow tests before meeting others socially in high-risk settings, but it is up to individual businesses and people to decide what works for them.

“No10 is focused on tackling the rise of the new omicron variant and the ongoing pandemic, and there are therefore no plans for a party while this intensive work is ongoing.”

This comes after the Met police said they WON’T be probing the Downing Street Christmas Party which allegedly happened last year.

The force last night said it won’t investigate the lockdown party allegations due to an “absence of evidence” and their policy to not probe “historic breaches of Covid regulations”.

It comes as Boris’ top aide Allegra Stratton resigned in tears yesterday just hours after bombshell footage showed her laughing about a lockdown-busting Christmas party at No10.


The PM earlier said he was “sickened” by the leaked video of his senior advisers joking about the alleged illegal gathering last year.

In the Commons at lunchtime, Mr Johnson said the video leaked to ITV made him “furious” and launched an investigation into the December 18 party.

He said Downing Street staff could face “disciplinary action” but said he’s been assured no Covid rules were broken.

Now, the Met Police’s statement means that there will be no criminal action taken either.

Before any of yesterday’s action, ex-journalist Ms Stratton, 41, announced she was leaving the Government and offered her resignation to the PM.

She said: “My remarks seemed to make light of rules, rules that people were doing everything to obey. That was never my intention.

“I understand the anger and frustration that people feel. To all of you who lost loved ones, endured intolerable loneliness and struggled with your business – I am sorry and this afternoon I have offered my resignation to Prime Minister.”

The video showed Ms Stratton – then the PM’s press secretary – fielding questions from colleagues at a mock press conference on December 22.

It was a practice run for the televised White House-style briefings before the idea was canned.

During the session another aide asked for her response to the party, to which Ms Stratton laughed that she had gone home.

After Downing St officials suggested she pass it off as just “cheese and wine” Ms Stratton used the line that it was a business meeting – and it was not socially distanced”.

NO PART IN IT

No10 still deny that a party took place despite the video appearing to confirm a gathering took place at the height of Tier 3 Covid rules in London.

The PM told MPs yesterday he “shared the anger” of millions of people upon seeing that video and stressed “I was also furious to see that clip”.

The PM, flanked by Rishi Sunak and Brandon Lewis, 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.”

But he insisted again he has been told that there was “no party” and he thinks all the rules WERE followed.

Anyone found to have broken any rules will face displinary action, he said.

Meanwhile, Tory aides “held a SECOND raucous party” during lockdown and Downing Street staff also “held a quiz night,” it’s emerged.

Around 25 people danced and drank wine late into the night at the event in the basement of the Conservative HQ in Westminster.

A separate Christmas quiz was also held around the same time for senior No10 aides with Johnson’s incoming chief of staff Dan Rosenfield said to have taken part.

The event organised by former Tory candidate for Mayor of London Shaun Bailey’s campaign team was held on December 14, sources said.

People were said to have worn festive hats and he received a Lego set as a Christmas present from a donor.

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