Xmas party row: Laura Kuenssberg says 'more heads will roll'
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The Christmas party row rages on, as many Brits call for the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson after allegations surfaced of a secret Christmas gathering flouting national lockdown restrictions. Former Press Secretary Allegra Stratton was forced to resign after footage emerged showing her giggling and struggling to answer questions on whether there was or was not a Tory Christmas bash. BBC’s Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg told Newscast “more heads will roll” as pressure continues to mount on the Prime Minister and his Government over the alleged violation.
Speaking on Allegra Stratton’s recent resignation, Ms Kuenssberg said: “There is one thing though that is really important to understand, that Allegra Stratton will not have been the person who made the decision, seven days ago, to not come clean and be straight about what happened last year.
“She’s been working on COP and climate for the last few months, she will not have been involved in the decision to deny that a party took place.
“And yet she is the one that has paid for her job.
“But I would posit, she may well not be the last person maybe in the next little while, maybe not till an investigation comes out and who knows when that will be.”
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Ms Kuenssberge continued: “Many people may observe that what often happens in these kinds of cases.
“Junior heads will roll, is often the vibe of these things in parliament and it’s something worth noting.”
Co-host Adam Fleming said: “And you also mentioned the ‘I’ word investigation because as part of this Simon Case the Cabinet Secretary, the most senior civil servant in the country, is going to do an investigation into what may or may have not happened on the 18th of December and if it was or was not within the rules.
“But also, Laura, people were asking the Prime Minister a lot of questions at that press conference about if it’s only the December 18 that Simon Case will be looking at.”
Ms Kuenssberg responded: “Yes! because there are suggestions we talked about this last week2, about an aide having a leaving-do on November 27 that I know Boris Johnson went and said a few words at.
“Although I understand that wasn’t a big sort of organised party, it was more a few people sitting around having a drink, there have been suggestions that are denied about Carrie Johnson having gatherings in the Downing Street flat throughout that period.
“The Prime Minister was asked about that in the Commons today and he said there had not been any gatherings as far as he knew.
Ms Kuenssberg continued: “But I was interested at the press conference he was using phrases very deliberately I think ‘to the best of my knowledge and ‘as far as I’ve been told officials and well-respected advisers have told me that the rules weren’t broken.’
“So we’re in this weird situation the Prime Minister’s message has been different to his official message all week.”
Allegra Stratton stood outside of her London home yesterday afternoon to read out her resignation letter to awaiting press on her front doorstep.
A weeping Ms Stratton said: “I tried to do right by you all, to behave with civility and decency and up to the high standards you expect of Number 10.
“My remarks seemed to make light of rules, rules that people were doing everything to obey.
“That was never my intention. I will regret those remarks for the rest of my days and offer my profound apologies to all of you for them.
“I understand the anger and frustration that people feel.
“To all of you who lost loved ones, who endured intolerable loneliness and who struggled with your businesses – I am truly sorry and this afternoon I am offering my resignation to the Prime Minister.”
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