NHS worker 'incandescent' with rage over aides joking about No10 Christmas party

8 December 2021, 06:36

The NHS worker is "incandescent" with anger.
The NHS worker is "incandescent" with anger. Picture: ITV News/Alamy Stock Photo

By Emma Soteriou

An NHS member of staff has said they are "incandescent" with anger over a video of Boris Johnson's aides joking about the Downing Street Christmas party in 2020.

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The Prime Minister's then press secretary - Allegra Stratton - and adviser Ed Oldfield, along with other aides, were filmed joking about a "fictional" party in December 2020.

The frontline healthcare worker said she felt "disrespected" at the double standards taking place, especially as she had been working with Covid patients throughout the same period and her mother had also been admitted to hospital following a fall.

Due to the health protocols, the staffer was unable to visit her mother, who caught Covid in the hospital and later died from bacterial pneumonia.

It comes despite several ministers denying claims that Covid regulations were broken at the time.

Downing Street continued to insist on Tuesday that there was no Christmas party and coronavirus rules had been followed at all times.

Read more: Downing St staff joke about Xmas party in leaked clip after ministers deny it took place

Read more: Education department admits 'we shouldn't have held staff party last December'

Credit: ITV News

The NHS staffer said: "To say I'm angry... I'm incandescent. It's the disrespect, it's the one rule for us and another rule for them, that's what's the worst.

"I see Allegra Stratton laughing up there and I feel sick, I feel disrespected, (like) I've been taken for a mug.

"I can't put enough words together right now as to how appalling that behaviour is. It should have consequences."

Mr Johnson is expected to face added criticism on the issue during Wednesday's Prime Minister's Questions, amid calls for him to resign.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called on Mr Johnson to "come clean and apologise", adding that for aides "to lie and to laugh about those lies is shameful".

The healthcare worker repeated the call for clarity, saying: "If it's proven to be a cover-up, there have to be some actual consequences - people will have to be sacked.

"I don't think ministers and MPs should be able to go on TV and say 'there was no party' then later say 'it was within the rules' when London had tier three restrictions - and there be no consequences.

"You have to hold the country's trust if you're in a position of authority."