Boris Johnson adviser resigns over lockdown party video

AFP
December 09, 2021

LONDON: An adviser to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned on Wednesday after footage of her joking about a Christmas party at Downing Street during lockdown last year aired on national...

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LONDON: An adviser to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned on Wednesday after footage of her joking about a Christmas party at Downing Street during lockdown last year aired on national television.

Allegra Stratton, formerly Johnson’s press secretary and spokeswoman for the COP26 summit, tearfully said she would "regret those remarks for rest of my days" after the prime minister apologised and announced an internal probe over the video.

The leaked footage appears to contradict more than a week of denials by Johnson and his ministers that a party took place, following newspaper reports dozens of staff had attended an evening-long gathering on December 18, 2020.

The embattled leader faced calls for his resignation from some opposition politicians and vowed "disciplinary action" would be taken if the investigation found rules had been broken.

Hours later Stratton resigned, acknowledging that her comments "seemed to make light of the rules" and saying she would "regret those remarks for the rest of my days". "I understand the anger and frustration that people feel", Stratton said, while not commenting on whether a party took place.

“My remarks seemed to make light of the rules, rules that people were doing everything to obey. That was never my intention. I will regret those remarks for the rest of my days and offer my profound apologies to all of your for them.

”Saying she remained proud of her work on Cop26, Stratton said: “I understand the anger and frustration that people feel. To all of you who lost loved ones, endured intolerable loneliness and struggled with your businesses – I am sorry and this afternoon I have offered my resignation to the prime minister.”

Stratton moved to her Cop26 role after the planned Downing Street briefings were axed. A former journalist for the Guardian, BBC and ITV, Stratton also worked for the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, before switching to No 10.



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