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Grant Shapps Condemns "Disgraceful" Leaked Picture Of Tory Staff Christmas Party

2 min read

Grant Shapps has said four Conservative Party staff have faced disciplinary action after a picture emerged of a gathering held in the party's Westminster office in December last year.

Former Conservative London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey has resigned from a senior post on the London Assembly after a picture of the party was published by The Daily Mirror on Tuesday evening.

The party was reportedly held during December 2020, when London was under Tier 2 Coronavirus restrictions which banned social gatherings between households.

More than 20 people attended the party on 14 December 2020, which appeared to show Conservative Party aides drinking alcohol while standing next to a buffet.

Bailey quit as chairman of the London Assembley's police and crime committee on Tuesday evening, with a statement from the GLA Conservatives saying he did not want the gathering to "distract from the committee's important work holding the mayor of London to account".

Speaking to Sky News, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the meeting was "disgraceful".

"[It was] absolutely the right thing to resign, but the wrong thing to do to have held a party," he said.

"This was something that was organised by his London campaign team. I see in that picture apparently, four Conservative Party workers who were on secondment where disciplinary action has already been taken.

"It is disgraceful to have a party like that, to break the rules, that is unacceptable and the consequences that follow, follow."

It comes amid increasing pressure on Boris Johnson following revelations that he took part in a Zoom quiz for Downing Street staff.

The Daily Mirror reported teams, with names such as 'Professor Quiz Whitty' and 'Santa's Ho Ho Hos', had taken part in the gathering, with a Downing Street staff member instructing participants to leave "by the back door".

But Shapps said it was "scraping the barrel" to criticise the Prime Minister over the meeting.

"People had been working incredibly hard this time last year and for him to jump online and thank them, whatever the quiz names were, I think it is rather ridiculous to make that into a big thing," he said.

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