Allegra Stratton in tears as she resigns as Boris Johnson’s adviser
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Struggling to hold back tears, the No10 adviser gave a statement outside her house in London saying offering her “profound apologies” for appearing to make light of the pandemic. In a leaked video, obtained by ITV, the former press secretary to the Prime Minister joked about a “fictional” party “with no social distancing” that took place on December 18 last year.
Taking part in a mock press conference in Downing Street’s £2.6 million press briefing room she spoke of a “cheese and wine” evening.
She joked with other aides about how to best answer questions from journalists about the event.
Announcing she was quitting her Government role this afternoon, the media adviser said: “My remarks seemed to make light of 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 you for them”
It comes just hours after Prime Minister’s Questions, when Mr Johnson spoke of his “anger” at the video showing staff mocking those following Covid rules.
He said: “I understand and share the anger up and down the country at seeing No10 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.”
Despite his remarks, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said Mr Johnson still had confidence in Ms Stratton.
Downing Street has come under intense pressure in the past 24 hours to come clean on whether there was a party in No10 while London was under Tier 3 rules.
Under the guidelines at the time, households were banned from mixing, with employees also banned from hosting Christmas parties.
More to follow…
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