A new picture has been leaked showing a “raucous” Christmas party thrown by Tory aides during coronavirus restrictions last Christmas.
The Daily Mirror has released an image showing 24 people crowded together in a medium-sized room in the party’s Westminster HQ.
Some of the group are shown wearing paper hats while one is sporting a House of Commons Christmas jumper.
The event, organised by top Tory Shaun Bailey ’s mayoral campaign, took place on December 14th last year when London was in Tier 2.
Mr Bailey has since quit as chair of the London Assembly’s police and crime committee.
The image also shows several guests – including billionaire Tory donor Nick Candy – raising glasses of wine while a catered buffet features prominently.
Tory insiders suggested tonight that party chairman Oliver Dowden was appalled by the photograph of the festive event.
The Conservatives have said that “formal disciplinary action” had been taken against four CCHQ staff seconded to the campaign.
A spokesman said: “Senior CCHQ staff became aware of an unauthorised social gathering in the basement of [CCHQ] organised by the Bailey campaign on the evening of 14th December.
“Formal disciplinary action was taken against the four CCHQ staff who were seconded to the Bailey campaign.”
“Damning new evidence”
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “This is damning new evidence of a party, with a buffet, drinks, Christmas attire and absolutely no social distancing held at Conservative Party HQ.
“Shaun Bailey is an elected official that is clearly breaking Covid regulations in this photo and encouraging the same of his staff.
“Whilst everyone else was making sacrifices to keep their community safe, the chair of the Police and Crime committee in the Greater London Authority was partying.
“His position as chair was untenable and he knew that.”