Harlow MP Robert Halfon responds to Downing Street party controversy

News / Wed 8th Dec 2021 at 06:11am

ON Tuesday night, ITV published a “mock news conference” hosted by the Downing Street press spokesperson Allegra Stratton.

The PM’s then press secretary Allegra Stratton is asked by colleagues about reports of a party, as they rehearse a news conference in December last year.

In jokey exchanges, she says: “This fictional party was a business meeting and it was not socially distanced.”

Downing Street continues to insist no party took place.

But a source previously confirmed to the BBC that a party did take place there on 18 December, with “several dozen” people in attendance.

The mock news conference took place in Downing Street on Tuesday 22 December, without members of the media present.

At the time, the government’s coronavirus guidance specifically stated that people should not have Christmas parties – and gatherings in London of two or more people indoors were banned unless they were “reasonably necessary” for work.

On December 18th 2020, three people died of Covid-19 at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow.

On Sunday, we asked Harlow MP Robert Halfon about the party.

We apologise for the sound quality on the film, so we have put subtitles on the film.

Mr Halfon said: “Of course, if anything illegal went on it shouldn’t have and it will be raised in Parliament.

“The government says no laws were broken, they have made it very clear.”

On Wednesday morning, he spoke to BBC Radio 4 .

He said: “I’m sure those involved in the video will apologise. I feel upset at what happened at the Department of Education.

Yes, they have admitted that but they were partying when schoolchildren were being sent home.

BBC journalist asked Mr Halfon “Is that right..that deputy deputy heads should roll?”

Mr Halfon replied “The Prime Minister said there was no party so until we know otherwise..You have to believe the PM of this country..I take the PM at his words.

“The people (of Harlow) will make up their own minds”.

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25 Comments for Harlow MP Robert Halfon responds to Downing Street party controversy:

2021-12-08 06:45:35

Shameful Robert. People died alone in hospital beds while your tory chums partied. Shame on you for not condemning their actions. Your a sheep who continues to lier to the residence of harlow rather then call out his peers for their behaviour

2021-12-08 07:34:49


2021-12-08 08:14:16

More flim flam from our worthless self serving MP.

2021-12-08 09:17:44

For me anyway Bobby It's the way they practiced how they where going to talk there selfs out of it that's shows what you all voted for a lot of cowboy's and what I have be saying all a long .

2021-12-08 09:20:21

Nothing more embarrassing and pathetic then being a tory right now. The poor people that couldn't be with family while they died and then couldn't attend the funeral. They caged us in our homes while they had parties and laughed at us all.

David Forman
2021-12-08 09:21:33

Halfon wiggled out of criticizing Boris over the No.10 Xmas party in his BBC R4 Today programme interview this morning. As one of his constituents, I view this as shameful butt kissing from Halfon. @halfon4harlowMP @bbcnickrobinson @BBCr4today @yourharlow

Stan the man
2021-12-08 09:27:41

Not a fan of the Royal family but I remember watching the Queen obey restrictions and sit alone on her own at her husbands funeral. She must be livid. Watch him create a distraction to try and get people talking about something else. I expect a press conference at any moment to put restrictions in place to divert attention to something else. TORIES CANT BE TRUST!!!!!

Gillian Stevens
2021-12-08 09:39:38

There’s always some excuse, isn’t there? Well as long as us plebs toe the a prime minister?

Steven Snell
2021-12-08 09:40:35

I dont see the problem myself, if they work together in the same room all day long wht cant they have some cheese and wine afterwards. Everyone loves a cheese board especially at Christmas. Those that have a problem beed to chill out and have a cheeky glass of port

Veronica Johansson
2021-12-08 09:48:25

Well done Mike ..bringing the lambs to slaughter ...in defence to Mr Halfon he didn't side with anyone 🙄 he supported his PM but if a party took place and it will come out then as he stated penalties will have to be paid ....innocent until proven guilty ..cant believe he would have been so so stupid 🙄

2021-12-08 09:55:32

Everyone comments like this but he will still be voted in as our MP at the next election!!! Talk with your votes, people!

2021-12-08 10:12:01

Here we go again, robert taking the party line no matter how wrong it is. Again he needs to remember who votes for him and I hope they all see how many times he backs this corrupt government

2021-12-08 11:15:05

I don't know what all the fuss is about, we have a superb Intelligence service that tax payers fund to the tune of £billions, Don't tell me our secret service officers left Downing Street unguarded that night! They must have the evidence and video footage of whether the party did or did not occur. Either way our PM must tell the House and the British public what did or did not occur. Then we can get back on with our li es

2021-12-08 11:33:25

He's a Tory blowhard. He has his Tory scarf very very tightly around his neck. Just a "yes" man, its clear he has no real values, morals or integrity. They are laughing at us and some vote for them. That's the real issue here.

Simon cleal
2021-12-08 12:45:30

And so it continues... Every day/week the lack of integrity ,ability and leadership of this government is exposed, and every time our MP , Mr Halfon , leaps to defend only to get hung out to dry the next day when Johnson u turns. Total lack of integrity.

2021-12-08 13:32:14

“The government says no laws were broken, they have made it very clear.” If no laws were broken, why is Alexander De Piffle Johnson now "unreservedly" apologising for the party? Either laws were broken and Johnson lied and needs to (at least) apologise again, or they have nothing to apologise for. How may more times will RH defend this incompetent government? How many more times will his defence bee shown to be complete rubbish the next day? And it's not just the idiot in charge that treats this as a joke: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/rees-mogg-joke-christmas-party-iea-laughing-b1971833.html

2021-12-08 13:45:25

If this 'party' happened and it was for those in No10 who work together in close proximity then where the issue. If this complaint goes the full distance and the police refer it to the CPS then ALL YOU who broke the lockdown rules at some point throughout the lock down and were caught and warned but not fined for your abuse should now be investigated and brought to justice? There are more worrying issues in this life than the holier than thou idiots having a shindig a year ago. I go out occasionally and the people breaking rules at present are phenomenal. Too many people living in the past wanting to find someone to blame for all the ills of this world. I have no political biase I find all MPs and government ministers are all for themselves anyway. We voted them in you will have the chance to vote them out within three years anyway. God help us all.

Mary j
2021-12-08 13:53:42

This whole thing is like the film burn after reading.

2021-12-08 13:58:21

The lefty news channels always try to make the tories out to be guilty before its proven which is wrong. Fact the labour party cannot be trusted with power ever again when in power they damaged this country to the point of no return By trying to rub the rights nose in it. The culture of this country is changing it was a labour mp who said harlow was unhealthly white! Well they've changed that over the years

Steven snell
2021-12-08 15:53:30

Grow up Paul. Its been proven silly. His spokes person has been caught laughing amd joking about it.

Pauline S
2021-12-08 17:23:35

No wonder people do not vote. The two main parties have now proved as poor as each other. Pleased to have seen the last leftish Labour leader go! Now we all hope to see the exit of this present PM who very few have trusted from the outset. Why do members of both parties make such mistakes? I voted for RH because he appeared to not always back "Head Office", but maybe I was wrong. Regretably, he (too) has made a mistake backing BJ at this point in time.

2021-12-08 17:53:34

Pathetic and disappointing. Mr Halfon, allow me to remind you that you’re supposed to be a public servant. Backing up your lying boss is inexcusable. This is how fascistic regimes come into being.

2021-12-08 22:37:01

Don’t expect anything else from halfon or any Tory. They have been found out to be liars and criminals. They don’t care about us as people just money and their status. This wouldn’t have happened under Corbyns ruling.

2021-12-09 02:22:09

It says something when Allegra Stratton has the honour, honesty and integrity to resign over a party she did not attend whereas non of the Tories involved have done so. How can we believe what the Prime Mijister says when even the Chief Mefical Officer was visibly angry about the way Tories have behaved partying while people followed the rules and others died alone as a result. It looks as if Boris has invoked Plan B as a smokescreen so people are not going to be willing to support the latest restrictions do I have a nasty feeling this is not going to go well

Graeme Porter
2021-12-09 13:12:34

I would like to pose a question to Mr Halfron, who was himself shielding last December, because of Covid19. Do you honestly believe that there was no party in 10 Downing Street, because Boris Johnson has denied it?. You believe a man that has been proven to have lied on numerous occasions such as, protecting Dominic Cummins, Nick Hancock, Owen Patteson, not to mention Brexit. This is insulting to your constituents that have lost love ones, friends and family.

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