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Great Britain. Reception at Conservative Party HQ during lockdown. The media publishes the recording

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A recording of a reception at the headquarters of the UK’s ruling Conservative Party, which took place despite restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, was published by the Daily Mirror. A short video from 2020 shows partygoers dancing, drinking alcohol and joking about the restrictions. Equal Opportunities Minister Michael Gove admitted it was “untenable”.

The 45-second video comes from a party held on December 14, 2020 at the headquarters of then Conservative Party mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey. This one – although he left the party earlier – is visible in one of the photos from that evening. The event was under police investigation for alleged violations of Covid restrictions at Downing Street and other government buildings, but no one was disciplined at the time.

The video shows, among other a couple who dance holding hands and even pass a sign reminding them to keep their distance while dancing. At another point, one person can be heard asking, “Are you filming this?”, to which another replies, “It’s for the party, for party use.” Someone else says, “Instagram live.” The first person then laughs and says, “As long as we’re not streaming live, it’s like we’re following the rules.”

Shaun Bailey and Boris JohnsonJohnny Green – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

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Receptions during covid restrictions

At the time the video was made, London was in the second level of Covid restrictions. Social gatherings in closed rooms were forbidden, except for persons from one’s own household. People could meet in open spaces, but in groups of no more than six people.

Referring to the video released, a spokesman for the Conservative Party said on Sunday that disciplinary action had been taken against four people. When asked about the video, Equal Opportunities Minister Michael Gove admitted that it was “terrible” and “indefensible”.

On Thursday, the Parliament’s Privileges Committee published a report of a year-long investigation which concluded that the then prime minister and leader of the Conservative Party Boris Johnson four times he knowingly misled Parliament when he asserted that social gatherings in Downing Street during the lockdown did not violate restrictions. Even before the publication of the document, Johnson resigned from his seat.

Main photo source: Johnny Green – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

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