An NHS England staffer has said she is “incandescent” with anger at a video of Boris Johnson’s senior aides joking about a Downing Street Christmas party just days after an alleged rule-breaking festive gathering.
The Prime Minister’s then press secretary Allegra Stratton and adviser Ed Oldfield, along with other aides, were filmed joking about a “fictional” party in December 2020.
A frontline healthcare worker told the PA news agency she was working with Covid-19 patients that month, when her mother was admitted to her hospital following a fall.
Due to health protocols the staffer was unable to visit her mother, who caught Covid in the hospital and later died from bacterial pneumonia.
“To say I’m angry… I’m incandescent. It’s the disrespect, it’s the one rule for us and another rule for them, that’s what’s the worst,” the staffer said.
“I see Allegra Stratton laughing up there and I feel sick, I feel disrespected, (like) I’ve been taken for a mug.
“I can’t put enough words together right now as to how appalling that behaviour is. It should have consequences.”
Downing Street again insisted on Tuesday there was no Christmas party and coronavirus rules had been followed at all times.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, however, has called on Mr Johnson to “come clean and apologise”, adding that for aides “to lie and to laugh about those lies is shameful”.
The healthcare worker repeated the call for clarity, saying: “If it’s proven to be a cover-up, there have to be some actual consequences – people will have to be sacked.
“I don’t think ministers and MPs should be able to go on TV and say ‘there was no party’ then later say ‘it was within the rules’ when London had tier three restrictions – and there be no consequences.
“You have to hold the country’s trust if you’re in a position of authority.”
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