OXFORD MPs have hit back against the Government amid allegations that Downing Street held a Christmas party last year - at a time when social gatherings were strictly banned.

The reaction comes after footage, obtained by ITV News, showed the Prime Minister’s former press secretary Allegra Stratton practicing for a press briefing by fielding questions from other Number 10 staff – one of whom asks about a 'fictional' gathering in Downing Street, about which Ms Stratton appears to joke.


Boris Johnson has continued to deny claims that there was a party, however, yesterday during Prime Ministers Questions told MPs he was 'furious' about the footage.

He has since ordered an investigation into claims asking Cabinet Secretary Simon Case 'to establish all the facts and to report back as soon as possible – and it goes without saying that if those rules were broken then there will be disciplinary action for all those involved'.

Anneliese Dodds, Labour MP for East Oxford, said the Prime Minister 'needs to come clean and apologies'.

She said: "Oxford people followed the rules last winter, and in many cases that meant they had to be apart from their loved ones.

"While I know that many of my constituents made big sacrifices to follow the rules and protect each other, the government was laughing about breaking them.

"Yet again, the Conservative Government has acted like there's one rule for them, and another for everyone else."

Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon said the situation was 'scandalous'.

She said: "That the Prime Minister's lackeys were flouting the rules while the rest of us cancelled Christmas plans is scandalous. That they were laughing about it while people were dying is downright sickening.

"If Barnard Castle and Matt Hancock hadn't already, this has stripped them of any authority to give public health instructions at this critical time when we are facing a new and dangerous variant. It's vital that those involved, including the Prime Minister face consequences."

At Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Johnson said: “I understand and share the anger up and down the country at seeing No 10 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.”