Shaun Bailey quits police role after pic shows him grinning at Tory HQ Xmas bash

14 December 2021, 22:17 | Updated: 14 December 2021, 22:34

Conservative mayoral hopeful Shaun Bailey quit as chairman of the London Assembly's Police and Crime Committee
Conservative mayoral hopeful Shaun Bailey quit as chairman of the London Assembly's Police and Crime Committee. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

A former Conservative London mayor candidate has quit as chair of a police and crime committee after a picture emerged showing him at a "raucous" Christmas party thrown last year.

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The image shows 24 people - including Shaun Bailey and billionaire conservative donor Nick Candy - raising glasses of wine in front of a catered buffet.

At the time, the capital was under Tier 2 restrictions which banned social mixing between households indoors.

The breach of the rules took place four days ahead of the Downing Street Christmas bash and is one of seven alleged Conservative Christmas parties said to have taken place last year during restrictions.

Mr Bailey's resignation as chairman of the committee came shortly before The Mirror published a photograph of him and other staff at a party in Conservative headquarters.

The Tories previously admitted the party had taken place on December 14 and said that staff had been disciplined.

And the GLA Conservatives confirmed on Tuesday that Mr Bailey had stepped back from the role.

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A statement released tonight read: "Shaun Bailey AM has today stood aside as chairman of the London Assembly's Police and Crime Committee.

"He does not want an unauthorised social gathering involving some former members of the London mayoral campaign team last December to distract from the committee's important work holding the Mayor of London to account.

"He will continue to speak up for Londoners who no longer feel safe in our city and push for a strategy to tackle the disproportionate level of crime in London's black community."

Cabinet Secretary Simon Case has been tasked with investigating alleged gatherings or parties held in Government buildings during restrictions.

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It has been suggested he could come back with his findings as early as this week.

In a statement previously admitting the party, a Tory spokesperson said:"Senior CCHQ (Conservative Campaign Headquarters) staff became aware of an unauthorised social gathering in the basement of Matthew Parker Street organised by the Bailey campaign on the evening of December 14," said the spokesperson, after a report in the Times said a party had taken place.

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