28 May 2024

Local councillors have spoken out about the Downing Street Christmas Party

A video obtained by ITV showing the Prime Minister’s then press secretary, Allegra Stratton, joking about No 10 staff holding a Christmas party last December while under Coronavirus restrictions has dominated the national news today (8th December 2021).

The local Liberal Democrats have spoken out about the “wine and cheese party” held at 10 Downing Street on 18th December 2020, with Victoria Charleston, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Salisbury, writing to Love Salisbury to say:

“The video of senior Downing Street staff laughing about a cheese and wine party held on 18th December 2020 is just the latest betrayal by this Conservative Government.

“This is not just about the cancellation of last Christmas which we all remember so vividly. It is about the sacrifices, the heartache and pain of isolation for almost two years which are being made a mockery of.

“I was one of countless women who was told she had had a miscarriage and lost her baby alone. My husband was one of over 7,000 people who lost his job when the Prime Minister told us not to frequent theatres, and an entire industry collapsed. My daughter is one of a generation who suffered from a loss of social interaction when her nursery was closed. Our story is far from unique.

“Across Salisbury, across Wiltshire, across England, millions were left to grieve in isolation after the loss of family and friends, celebrate weddings and births in isolation, and worry about the future without the support of loved ones. Once again, we are shown that our sacrifices are not the sacrifices of all, and even worse, our sacrifices are laughable to those at the heart of this Conservative Government.

“Salisbury’s Conservative MP is very skilled at justifying his government’s decisions, U-turns and gaffes. He was happy to explain why cutting free school meals to the most vulnerable was sensible, or why there should not be restrictions on the amount of raw sewage poured into our waterways, to name just two recent examples. With that in mind, I look forward to his explanation to his constituents as to why a non-socially distanced gathering of ‘several dozen people’ took place at 10 Downing Street whilst the rest of us stayed away for the safety of all.

“The sleaze of this Government is beyond reproach. I for one am ready for change.”

In response to Victoria’s comments, Conservative Group Leader Cllr Charles McGrath said:

“Like most people who have sacrificed so much over the last two years, I am shocked at the reports of a Christmas party that took place in Downing Street last December, when London – and the rest of the country – was under tiered restrictions on socialising indoors. One of, if not the most important characteristic of a leader is to take responsibility when mistakes are made.

“Likewise, most understand that – in life – it is far too simplistic to blame an entire group of people for the actions of a few. The vast majority, including members of the Conservative Government, fully complied with the restrictions at the time, and will continue to comply with measures which are proportionate given our current position in relation to Covid-19.”

Written by
Beth Doherty
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Written by Beth Doherty