LONDON—Leveling Up Secretary Michael Gove has issued an apology after a shocking video leaked to Mirror was published today, revealing Conservative Party workers engaging in revelry at a Christmas celebration despite strict COVID restrictions. The footage was filmed in December 2020 at party headquarters. Describing the event as “indefensible,” Gove offered a wholehearted apology, recognizing the outrage it would provoke among the public.
Gove expressed his personal remorse, stating, “On a personal level, I would like to apologize to people for this behavior. It is unacceptable and indefensible.”
While the December 2020 gathering had been previously reported, the emergence of the video has reignited public interest. Notably, two attendees of the event, Shaun Bailey and Ben Hallett, have recently been honored in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resignation honors list.
The party was organized by Shaun Bailey’s campaign team. It took place while London was under strict COVID restrictions, prohibiting indoor socializing with individuals outside one’s household or support bubble.
Despite PM Rishi Sunak’s desire to move past the ongoing Partygate scandal, incidents like this one continue to cast a lingering political shadow. The government’s attempts to regain public trust face continuous setbacks due to leaks and revelations.
On Monday, Members of Parliament at Westminster will debate a cross-party report from the Privileges Committee, which exposed Boris Johnson’s repeated falsehoods regarding Partygate. This development further compounds the government’s woes, with the Metropolitan Police now “considering” the newly emerged video footage depicting the Christmas party at Conservative campaign headquarters during the pandemic.
The footage portrays staff brazenly flouting lockdown rules, engaging in dancing, drinking, and even making light of the restrictions. This appalling party video adds to the growing list of embarrassments for the government, compelling Gove to offer a public apology today.