A Tory MP appeared to dismiss Labour’s claims that the Downing Street Party last year broke the rules.
In a series of tweets, Michael Fabricant, who represents Lichfield in Staffordshire, asked: “Was the Downing Street Party a ‘flagrant breach of the rules’ as Labour are happily claiming?”
He then proceeded to say Sue Gray will decide, the top civil servant tasked with leading an investigation into alleged parties at Downing Street at the Department for Education.
It comes after several allegations claimed government officials broke their own Covid rules during the first coronavirus lockdown and in December last year.
But Fabricant claimed he already has “the facts”.
Fabricant says he has ‘the facts’ amid throwback to Miliband’s sandwich
He said: “There are 80/90 offices in the Downing Street complex with key workers who were all operating closely together indoors.
“Only they were invited to relax in the open air (an enclosed garden) and would not have increased the risk of contagion.”
He added: “No outside guests were invited at all.
“These people had worked incredibly hard on all our behalves on the vaccine programme etc.”
Fabricant’s defensive statements come after Labour’s Ed Miliband said he was “gobsmacked” over claims that one of Johson’s aides organised a “bring your own booze” drinks party during the first lockdown.
“You were done for with eating a bacon sandwich, this bloke seems to be able to party all night and nobody gives a damn,” LBC‘s Nick Ferrari said.
Miliband replied: “It was a party, it was an organised party, none of these excuses that it was just a bunch of people in the office having a drink, it was organised!”
Labelling the party “clearly in flagrant breach of the rules,” Miliband said Boris Johnson could not claim ignorance of the rules.
“He told a member of the public a few days later if she saw someone in a park who was consorting with more than one person from outside their household to report them to the police!,” Miliband argued.
Many reacted to Fabricant’s attempt to defend the Tory government.
Comedian Hal Cruttenden said: “You have to give credit to Fabricant for being the first person I’ve heard who’s attempted a proper defence of Johnson and for continuing to wear the comedy wig long after it ceased to be funny.”
And Chris Ward, a software developer who left UK for Berlin after the EU referendum, added: “Any other business that worked together in close quarters was not allowed to do this after work.
“If the rules were not sensible, blame the people that came up with them. So… the same people who broke them that evening.”
Another Twitter user said: “On one hand you have to admire him for trying to defend the indefensible and on the other hand it’s just so very very sad and pathetic to watch an elected official claim rules where different for them because they worked very hard”.