UK Covid Live: New calls for inquiry as Minister fails to explain how No 10 party failed to break lockdown rules | Politics


Hello. Malting kit, the Minister of Police, was on government airwaves today mainly to talk about the government’s new 10-year drug strategy. But he also became the latest minister to take on the hellish interview challenge – defending the threadbare and inconsistent Downing Street line during last year’s No.10 Christmas parties that appeared to be breaking lockdown rules. .

On BBC News, Malthouse said he was not sure there had been a party. But that didn’t stop him from saying that if it did happen, it wasn’t breaking the rules.

Lizzy Buchan
(@LizzyBuchan)

🎄 On the No10 Christmas party claims last year, Police Minister Kit Malthouse said @BBCBreakfast: “I don’t even know if an event has taken place, but if so, no rule has been broken” …


December 6, 2021

On Sky News, Malthouse said he took the insurance he got from Downing Street “at face value” (an unusual phrase – he could have just said he believed them).

Kay burley
(@KayBurley)

Did a Covid-breaking Christmas party take place at # 10 last December? ??

Why aren’t the police investigating? ??

We put the Minister of Police @kitmalthouse on the spot #KayBurley UF pic.twitter.com/UbP0t30ZwJ


December 6, 2021

And then, in the Today program, Malthouse said that factors such as social distancing and room size might have been factors in determining whether the party was legal or not – even if it wasn’t. exemptions allowed in the directives.

Lizzy Buchan
(@LizzyBuchan)

Kit Malthouse then muddied the waters by telling @ BBCr4today that it would have depended on things like “How far away were people … How big was the room?” If a No10 Christmas drink would have broken the rules.

Except that’s not what the rules said at the time …


December 6, 2021

Paul waugh
(@paulwaugh)

.@kitmalthouse, ask by @MishalHusain if he had asked No10 * how * the Christmas party games of December 18, 2020 complied with the Covid rules:
“I’m not an investigator, my job is to reassure myself … I have to take this at face value.”


December 6, 2021

Brand Paul
(@PaulBrandITV)

Kit Malthouse now adds the interesting interpretation that a hypothetical Christmas party would have been okay last year if you consider things like …

“How far away were the people? “

“How big was the room?” “

… The directives clearly prohibited Christmas celebrations.


December 6, 2021

Malthouse also said it was fair for police to investigate allegations of past offenses – late last week the Met said it did not systematically investigate violations “in retrospect” of the Covid rules – but he said it was for the police to decide what they did in this case. The Met is under pressure to investigate.

The green deputy Caroline lucas suggests that Malhouse’s failure to offer a proper Downing Street defense strengthens the case for an investigation.

Caroline lucas
(@CarolineLucas)

Docile acceptance of “assurances” N ° 10 by @kitmalthouse leaves him unable to answer a direct question about # r4today about Christmas party no.10.
Police met must urgently investigate issue of Prime Minister ignoring his own rules while others are forced to cancel Christmas gatherings


December 6, 2021

SNP deputy John nicolson also described today’s interview with Malthouse as “excruciating.”

JOHN NICOLSON, MP
(@MrJohnNicolson)

Atrocious interview with Conservative Minister Kit Malthouse on # bbcr4Today He was not at the Downing St party – the party that did not take place. But he believes Boris Johnson didn’t break any rules at the party. Even though parties were illegal at the time.


December 6, 2021

Here is the program for the day.

10:30 am: High Court issues ruling in case brought by FDA, the union of senior officials, challenging Boris Johnson’s decision to ignore ruling that Home Secretary Priti Patel broke ministerial code by intimidating officials.

11:30 am: Downing Street holds its briefing in the lobby.

2:30 p.m .: Nadhim Zahawi, Education Secretary, answers questions in the Commons. He is also due to make a statement in connection with an investigation into the Arthur Labinjo-Hughes case.

3 p.m .: Alister Jack, the Scottish Secretary, testifies before the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee.

I am trying to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a straightforward question, include “Andrew” somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I try to answer the questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and answer over the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

If you want to get my attention quickly, it’s probably best to use Twitter. I’m on it @AndrewSparrow.

Alternatively, you can email me at [email protected]



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