Tories face new police probe over lockdown party video
EX-PM runs into more trouble
BORIS Johnson is in the doghouse over Partygate – but now he could get another ruff ride over his mutt. The shamed ex-prime Minister was spotted driving away from his £3.8million Oxfordshire mansion with dog Dilyn on someone’s knee in the front. Rule 57 of the Highway Code, introduced last year, states: “When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly.
“A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.” A spokesman for Mr Johnson declined to comment.
Dilyn was unruly during Mr Johnson's time as Prime
Minister, reportedly having "expensive run-ins" with antique furniture. Mr Johnson was often seen struggling to control his pooch while running with him in parks around Westminster, as he became distracted by ducks and people. In 2021 it was revealed the Johnsons had neutered Dilyn to limit his "romantic urges" – often targeted at people’s legs.
JOHN STEVENS MIKEY SMITH
THE Tories face the threat of a new Partygate police probe as unseen footage shows staff boozing, dancing and mocking lockdown laws at the height of Covid.
A bombshell video – the first to emerge from any of the Westminster parties – captures officials joking about the rule-bending bash at the Conservative Campaign HQ.
At least 24 revellers were there and, shockingly, they include two named on ex-pm Boris Johnson’s controversial resignation honours list.
In the footage – which is available exclusively on our website – two dancers even twirl past a sign saying “Please keep your distance”. It will infuriate families who lost relatives in Covid and will reignite criticism of Mr Johnson just days after he was slammed for misleading MPS over parties at No10. This knees-up was held on December 14, 2020 – as large swathes of the UK were barred from socialising indoors.
A widely seen picture of the London bash formed part of a Met Police probe last year. The force had only still images to go on and found insufficient evidence of law breaking – and no fines were issued.
But the damning video throws new light on the affair and the Met says it will assess whether it could be material to an inquiry.
Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “Revellers openly mocked the rules the British people followed. The Tories think it’s one rule for them and one rule for everyone else. Instead of forcing them to face the consequences, Rishi Sunak has caved into Johnson and chosen to reward them with honours. It’s a sickening insult.”
The party was organised by the campaign team of then London Mayor candidate Shaun Bailey – now Lord Bailey after Mr Johnson made him a peer in his honours list.
Mr Bailey had left the party before the video was taken.
It features Ben Mallet – awarded an OBE in Mr Johnson’s list. Mr Mallet, filmed holding a glass of red wine and wearing festive braces, was the Tories’ campaign director for the 2021 London mayoral election.
He now runs the campaign of Moz Hossain, who wants to stand in next year’s mayoral race.
The footage shows two revellers knocking over wine glasses as they spiral into a table laden with buffet food. The unsteady pair twirl each other around to the sounds of The Pogues’
Fairytale of New
York. It is the first time footage has emerged of one of the rule-breaking parties in Westminster. In the video, which shows a karaoke machine with flashing lights, partygoers joke about how they are breaking the rules. When one man sees he is being recorded, he says: “Oh Christ.” Then another asks: “Are you filming this?” Someone else responds: “It’s for party, erm, party use.” A man then laughs after declaring: “As long as we are not streaming that we’re, like, bending the rules.”
It was just days after the party that Mr Johnson announced even tighter restrictions which meant people in the areas
New peer Bailey was at bash