Sunday People


Taxpayer picked up Hancock fine Pressure on PM for party details


Tory revellers lived it up as lockdown hit millions worst hit by Covid could not see their loved ones over Christmas. And the footage emerged after a dramatic week in which Partygate finally caught up with the ex-pm. In a damning report on Thursday, the Privileges Committee found he had repeatedly misled MPS over lockdown-busting gatherings.

It also accused him of being “complicit” in a “campaign of abuse and attempted intimidati­on” against the committee’s seven members.

The committee said Mr Johnson would have faced a 90-day suspension from Parliament if he had not

FRAMED & SHAMED Pic showed 24 revellers

resigned in anger before the publicatio­n of its report. The Daily Mirror published a picture of the gathering in December 2021 showing staff members and volunteers in close quarters, raising glasses of wine.

A buffet is seen on trestle tables around the room.


A Metropolit­an Police investigat­ion concluded last November that the “photo by itself is not sufficient evidence on which to assess that an offence had been committed”.

A spokesman for the Met said

Dance pair hit buffet table at the time: “The investigat­ion reviewed all the material thoroughly and, after careful considerat­ion, it was determined that there was insufficie­nt evidence to disprove the version of events provided by attendees to a standard that would meet the threshold required.”

After the picture emerged, Mr Bailey apologised “unreserved­ly” for the event and resigned as chair of the London Assembly’s police and crime committee.

He tweeted: “I gave a speech to my team to thank them... it was a serious error of judgment at a time when Londoners were making immense sacrifices to keep us all safe and I regret it wholeheart­edly.”

The new footage comes days after the long-awaited UK Covid-19

Inquiry began. A Conservati­ve Party spokesman said yesterday: “Senior CCHQ staff became aware of an unauthoris­ed social gathering in the basement of Matthew Parker Street organised by the Bailey campaign on the evening of 14th December 2020.

“Formal disciplina­ry action was taken against the four CCHQ staff who were seconded to the Bailey campaign.”

A spokesman for the Shaun Bailey campaign said: “This is an old story. We repeatedly apologised for this event at the time. It was subject to a nearly year-long police investigat­ion. The matter is closed.”

Boris Johnson’s spokesman declined to comment.

Matt Hancock MP

TAXPAYERS picked up the tab for a parking fine on former Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s expenses – despite being against rules.

The £78 was paid last year before he entered I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! where he pocketed a whopping £320,000.

But he repaid the amount of the fine – stated on a removals firm invoice – after a watchdog found it had been included on his expenses.

Invoices from the removals firm to Hancock were released under Freedom of Informatio­n legislatio­n by Parliament’s expenses watchdog, the Independen­t Parliament­ary Standards Authority.

Rules state: “IPSA will not pay any claims for penalty charges or additional charges.”

Mr Hancock’s spokesman said: “IPSA paid a removal company directly. The removal company had included a parking fine it incurred.”

Sunak was fined

LABOUR last night demanded Rishi Sunak “come clean” over what he knew about Partygate abuses.

Party chair Anneliese Dodds wrote to the PM calling for honesty about the “culture of brazen rule-breaking” in No10 during Covid lockdowns when he was Chancellor.

She told him: “You yourself lived in the house where this unacceptab­le behaviour was taking place.

“And you yourself received a fine for one of the gatherings.”

Mr Sunak told MPS in December 2021 he did not attend Downing Street Christmas parties, but four months later was fined for being at Boris Johnson’s birthday party.

MPS will vote tomorrow on a 90-day suspension by the Privileges Committee for ex-pm Mr Johnson.

Ms Dodds said Mr Sunak “knew Johnson was a rule breaker and a liar and he propped him up”.

SWIG BEN Tory guru Mallet, right

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