Downing Street Party: Blackford calls on PM to resign, as Highland resident recalls family loss

Mr Blackford has called for the Prime Minister to resign after a video emerged on Tuesday which appeared to show UK Government staff joking about having a Christmas party outwith Covid rules.

Ian Blackford MP has called for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign after video footage emerged this week of Government aides joking about attending a Christmas party in December 2020 while the rest of the country was in lockdown due to Covid rules.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Wednesday after Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Blackford raised a point of order and said that people felt revulsion at the alleged reports of a lockdown breach at Downing Street in December 2020.

The video which became public on Tuesday 7th December via ITV News is reported to have taken place on 22nd December 2020. It shows Allegra Stratton, the Prime Minister’s then press secretary, fielding questions at a mock press conference.

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Speaking to the Free Press on Wednesday morning ahead of travelling to the Houses of Parliament, Mr Blackford said: “I know what Tory MPs think of him, and they have to look at themselves and take their own responsibilities, but how much can we take of a man that can’t be trusted.

“This man is a serial liar.”

The member for Ross, Skye and Lochaber told the Free Press he had been contacted by several upset constituents following the release of the video on Tuesday.

A letter shared with the Free Press by Mr Blackford which was received from a Highland resident recounted their experience of laying to rest a loved one on the same day as the alleged party took place.

The letter read: “It was on the news that they had their party on 18th December – the same day we had the funeral.

“All at the graveside in the freezing cold and snow so we could have the maximum allowed number of 20 people. We followed the rules, we missed out, while they partied and laughed in our faces.

“I switched off the ventilator and was only allowed into the hospital at the last minute, dressed in full PPE. Only two were allowed in, so some of the family even missed that. We were terrified to take this virus back to our Highland village – from Glasgow – which had not yet seen any cases.

“There were no goodbyes, no visits to hospital, nothing. We had kept away from each other during the lockdowns and we did what we were told.

“This news tonight hurts to the core. A Tory will never laugh in my face again.

“Any ounce of respect I might have had for this government is gone.”

Speaking in the Commons during PMQs, Mr Blackford said: “Downing Street wilfully broke the rules and mocked the sacrifices we have all made, shattering the public’s trust.

“The Prime Minister is responsible for losing the trust of the people. He can no longer lead on the most pressing issue facing the country.

“The Prime Minister has a duty – the only right and moral choice left to him, is for his resignation.”

In response, Mr Johnson apologised for the video and said he was “sickened” by it. However, the Prime Minister still contends that no party took place and no Covid rules were broken.

Article by Adam Gordon, image by Willie Urquhart.