Shelagh Fogarty 1pm - 4pm
David Lammy furiously reacts to Downing St Christmas party reports
4 December 2021, 20:56
David Lammy explained his personal frustration with reports that No. 10 staff held two Christmas parties last year when such gatherings were banned, recalling how he was cut off from family for two weeks in that period.
It was reported on Wednesday that the Prime Minister had given a speech at a packed leaving party for a senior aide last November, when the country was in the midst of a second lockdown.
The Daily Mirror also said members of his No. 10 team then held their own festive party in the days before Christmas, while London was under Tier 3 restrictions.
In each case, the paper reported, there were 40 or 50 people crammed "cheek by jowl" into a medium-sized room in No. 10.
David told listeners: "I was on air on LBC last Christmas around this time. My family had left the country, within the rules, to go on holiday.
"I was set to join them the following day after I had broadcast on Saturday. And during my time on the show, restrictions were announced... that meant I could not join my family.
"I spent last Christmas, for two weeks, on my own, in North London, with my wonderful dog Silver. Separated from my three beautiful children and my wonderful wife.
"Why? Because I followed the rules."
David then explained that he wasn't affected like some people were where they "couldn't hug [their] mum or dad in a care facility" because of the rules.
"There are people out there who really, really suffered during the course of these restrictions and that's why it's important that those who make the rules... live by the rules."
"Why is it one rule for you, Boris Johnson, and another rule for everybody else?" David asked.
"I'm not upset because I wasn't invited, I'm upset because there was a breach of the rules and we've got a Prime Minister who's not prepared to fess up to it."