Downing Street Christmas party row: Edinburgh A&E nurse blasts claims of Christmas party while he cared for those dying of Covid-19

There was a chill in the air on the cobbled streets of the Royal Mile but there was nothing icier than the feelings of contempt for the occupants of 10 Downing Street.

By Liam Smillie
Thursday, 9th December 2021, 4:55 am

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Boris Johnson had not long faced a torrent of questions in the House of Commons about the latest Government scandal over a Christmas party apparently held at Number 10 during last year’s lockdown - just days before thousands across the country would follow guidance and spend Christmas alone.

A short time later, the Prime Minister’s former spokeswoman Allegra Stratton tearfully quit after a video emerged of her appearing to make light of the rule breaking.

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But none of that did anything to stem the growing anger on the streets of Edinburgh, where no one could be found with anything but pure rage for those in power who appear to follow a different set of rules to everyone else.

Matt Easby, who is an A&E nurse in the city, said: “I was looking after people in the ICU dying of Covid at that time last year - while they were just partying.”

“I think it’s absolutely unacceptable - it’s indicative of everything the Tories stand for, it’s sleazy and it just shows that they’re laughing at ordinary people going about their jobs.”

The 35-year-old added: “And I know that it won’t be investigated properly, it’ll be swept under the carpet - they’ll find some way to just hide it away and hush it all up - people’s memories are very short.”

His feeling was echoed by many making their way home through the city centre, unsure now of what this Christmas will bring after talk of new restrictions due to the hundreds of omicron variant cases which have been recorded in Scotland.

Edinburgh University student Beth Campbell, 22, said the news of the party, which was held while, elsewhere, people were forced to choose which family members to spend time with, had come as no surprise.

The 22-year-old, who is studying for a masters in literature and modernity, said: “I actually listened to the clip this morning on the radio and to hear them laughing about it, it just felt so insidious to me.”

Joe Higgs, a 22-year-old barista, said: “It’s very much in the line of one rule for them and another for us.

“I think it’s a horrible, ridiculous thing considering the state most of us were in - like people not being able to attend funerals.”

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