Conservative calls for Downing Street resignations grow following Christmas party leak

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A senior Tory figure has reportedly said there must be resignations inside Number 10 following leaked footage of Downing Street. ITV’s deputy political editor Anushka Asthana wrote on Twitter: “Senior Tory says to me – there are going to have to be resignations.”

Ms Asthana’s colleague Paul Brand added: “Anger is really building tonight.

“This is looking like a very serious crisis indeed for Boris Johnson.

“A Tory MP texts, ‘I’m tired of it. He has to go. Clean sweep. It’s unsustainable’.”

The comments come just weeks after it was reported around a dozen Conservative MPs had submitted letters of no confidence in Mr Johnson to the backbench 1922 Committee.

The footage shared by the UK’s oldest commercial network was recorded on December 22 in preparation for Downing Street’s proposed daily media briefings.

Number 10’s then press secretary Allegra Stratton was asked by the Prime Minister’s adviser Ed Oldfield: “I’ve just seen reports on Twitter that there was a Downing Street Christmas party on Friday night, do you recognise those reports.”

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Ms Stratton, a former BBC and ITV journalist, replied: “I went home.”

After Ms Stratton appeared lost for words, Mr Oldfield added: “Would the Prime Minister condone having a Christmas party.”

“What’s the answer?”, a seemingly thrown off Stratton replied.

One Number 10 employee added: “It wasn’t a party, it was cheese and wine.”

Ms Stratton concluded the clip by acknowledging the rehearsal was being recorded and then by saying: “This fictional party was a business meeting and it was not socially distanced.”

The ex-journalist had been expected to deliver the White House-style media briefings in Number 9’s £2.6million studio.

However, plans for the UK to emulate the US briefings were axed in April.

Her appointment had also caused division inside Downing Street, especially with ex-Vote Leave head of broadcast Lee Cain.

But the debacle has led the SNP’s leader Ian Blackford to call for Boris Johnson to resign as Prime Minister.

The MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber said: “This video is damning and leaves the Prime Minister with a lot to answer for.

“When every individual up and down the country was told to stay at home in order to protect the NHS, the Tories were instead having a Christmas party which, as a senior staff member has now confirmed, was ‘not socially distanced’.

“If this is true, then the Prime Minister’s position is untenable and he must remove himself from office immediately.”

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Mr Blackford was joined by Reform UK’s leader Richard Tice.

The ex-Tory Party donor wrote on Twitter: “The ruling elite laughing & sneering at us all. Enough. Resign.”

Even a former Conservative junior minister said the decent thing to do is resign.

Ex-Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry said: “They laughed in the face of the real tears and sacrifices of thousands of people.

“At any other time people would do the decent thing and resign.

“Decency is not understood nor recognised by this Government.”

One current Tory MP even compared the debacle to the BBC’s hit satire series ‘The Thick of It’.

North Thanet’s Roger Gale told Sky News: “This is like something out of ‘The Thick of It’, if you wrote it people wouldn’t believe it.”

“Boris Johnson has always been his own man and done his own thing in his own way, I think he has a certain amount of explaining to do.”

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