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Lockdown Christmas party photo puts Tories under renewed pressure

The Conservative’s party candidate in the newest London mayoral race resigned from his official place on Tuesday following the leak of {a photograph} that instructed a breach of lockdown guidelines final Christmas.

Reports additionally instructed {that a} quiz hosted at Downing Street by Boris Johnson, UK prime minister, that allegedly damaged Covid restrictions was a proper gathering, with allotted crew names and a advice that contributors exit Number 10 by the rear door.

Shaun Bailey, who stood within the capital’s mayoral election in May and got here second to Labour’s Sadiq Khan, give up his function as chair of the police and crime committee on the London Assembly after the Daily Mirror published a photo exhibiting him at a Christmas party on December 14 2020.

The photo instructed that Bailey broke lockdown guidelines, having being taken at a time when indoor gatherings have been banned. It confirmed greater than 20 employees at Conservative party headquarters posing with Bailey and Nick Candy, a outstanding property developer.

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The party officers are wearing Christmas apparel and catering appeared to have been laid on. One Tory party official described the image as “horrifying”.

Simon Case, cupboard secretary, is investigating a sequence of studies of a number of events, together with the gathering at Conservative party HQ when London was under restrictions that didn’t permit indoor family mixing.

Those with information of Case’s investigation stated he was resulting from interview Johnson on Tuesday and the findings of his inquiry have been anticipated “sooner rather than later”. Cabinet Office officers instructed that it may very well be as quickly as the tip of this week.

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A spokesperson for the Conservative group on the London Assembly stated Bailey had resigned from the committee to make sure that his attendance at an “unauthorised social gathering” didn’t turn into a distraction. He stays a Tory member of the London Assembly.

The Mirror additionally reported {that a} gathering in Downing Street on December 15, hosted by Johnson through his pc, was a “virtual quiz” however that some employees participated from their desks.

A leaked Number 10 electronic mail suggested these current to “ensure that they arrange themselves behind the Perspex screens”. Although steerage stated that “all staff will be required to leave the office immediately after the end of the quiz”, the Mirror stated, many stayed on for a number of hours.

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The Mirror additionally stated {that a} senior Number 10 aide suggested officers to “go out the back” after the quiz night time. The leaked info of the obvious party stated there have been a number of quiz groups dubbed with pandemic-themed names, together with “Professor Quiz Whitty”, “Next Slide Please”, “We’ve Been Clear”, “The 6 Masketeers” and “Hands, Face, First Place”.

A authorities spokesperson declined to touch upon the allegations of Downing Street events, noting that Case’s formal investigation was under method.

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