Covid-19 figures reveal picture in Mansfield and Ashfield at time of No 10 'Christmas party'

Multiple people died with coronavirus in Mansfield and Ashfield on the day of an alleged Downing Street Christmas party, figures reveal.

By Patrick Jack
Thursday, 9th December 2021, 2:00 pm

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered an investigation into claims staff broke lockdown rules by holding a party at Number 10 last year – and told MPs he was ‘furious’ about footage apparently showing aides joking about it.

Mr Johnson apologised for the offence caused by the leaked video, but insisted he had been assured ‘there was no party and no Covid rules were broken’ on December 18.

Figures from the UK coronavirus daily dashboard show three deaths occurred in Mansfield on that date last year, alongside two in Ashfield.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

There were also 59 positive Covid-19 cases recorded in Ashfield that day and 26 in Mansfield.

Mr Johnson’s intervention followed a week of official insistence that no party took place when London was under tier-three restrictions – despite reports staff drank alcohol and exchanged Secret Santa gifts.

Sir Keir Starmer, Labour leader, said: “Millions now think the Prime Minister was taking them for fools, that they were lied to. They’re right aren’t they?”

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Allegra Stratton, Mr Johnson's adviser and former press secretary, resigned after footage showed her laughing as she appeared to rehearse answers to questions over a lockdown-busting Christmas party.

The video, from the £2.6-million Downing Street press briefing room, which is reported to be from December 22, refers to a party on ‘Friday’ – the same day The Daily Mirror reported there was a staff party where games were played, food and drinks served and revelries went on past midnight.

At this time, coronavirus restrictions were being reintroduced across many parts of the UK ahead of Christmas, amid fears over the emergence of the Delta variant.

Mr Johnson said any evidence uncovered about parties in Downing Street would be handed to police.

National Police Chiefs' Council figures show 415 fixed penalty notices were issued by Nottinghamshire Police for breaches of Covid-related laws between November 17 and December 20 last year, including three for holding a gathering of more than 30 people.

And by December 22 – when the leaked video was apparently filmed – Department of Health and Social Care figures reveal more than a quarter of England’s care homes were not permitting residents to receive visitors as Covid-19 infection levels rose.

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