Ian Blackford claims “authoritative reports” suggest three parties took place in Downing Street last December

Boris Johnson faced calls to resign from the SNP this afternoon in a heated PMQs as Ian Blackford claimed “authoritative reports” now suggest three parties has taken place in Downing Street last December.

Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 2:11 pm

The Prime Minister faced constant cross-party criticism over suggestions of a Christmas Party, with Catherine West first asking during the session of PMQs about a separate party supposedly held in Downing Street on 13 November.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford who had demanded the Prime Minister’s resignation, said that Boris Johnson should resign as he “can no longer lead on the most pressing issue facing these islands”.

During PMQs Mr Blackford said: “Trust and leadership is a matter of life and death. Downing Street wilfully broke the rules and mocked the sacrifices we have all made, shattering the public trust. The Prime Minister is responsible for losing the trust of the people. He can no longer lead on the most pressing issue facing these islands.

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SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford told the House of Commons that if the Prime Minister does not resign, “he must be removed”.

“The Prime Minister has a duty, the only right and moral choice left to him: it is for his resignation. When can we expect it?”

However, in a post PMQs point of order, Blackford said “authoritative reports” now suggested three parties has taken place in Downing Street last December.

He said: “People throughout these islands have been watching this debate today, people feel revulsion at the stories that have emerged, in particular the video last night.

“What is worse Prime Minister, what is worse Mr Speaker, is that there are now authoritative reports of not just one, not just two, but three different Downing Street parties during lockdown last Christmas, including one in the Prime Minister’s flat?

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“What do we have to do on this side of the House to make sure the Prime Minister takes responsibilities for his breach of trust, for the breach of Covid regulations, and he does the right thing on behalf of all the people on these islands, and he resigns right now?”

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said: “Can I just say it is a very tense moment for the House and I just want to try and calm it down. What I would just say is we can’t continue a debate after it has already gone on.

“What I would say is I am not aware of any media attention, what I would also say is it is not for me to rule on something that happens in Downing Street. What I would say is you have got it on record and we can leave it at that.”

The Prime Minister started off PMQs with an apology telling MPs: “I understand and share the anger up and down the country at seeing No 10 staff seeming to make light of lockdown measures, and I can understand how infuriating it must be to think that people who have been setting the rules have not been following the rules because I was also furious to see that clip.

“I apologise unreservedly for the offence that it has caused up and down the country and I apologise for the impression that it gives.

“But I repeat that I have been repeatedly assured since these allegations emerged that there was no party and that no Covid rules were broken, and that is what I have been repeatedly assured.”

No 10 was asked if the Government was confident that no other departments had held parties.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “I think we are confident that civil servants followed the rules as set out.”

Asked about BBC reports of a quiz event that allegedly took place in the Cabinet Office for No 10 aides at a similar time to the reported party last year, the Prime Minister’s press secretary said this was virtual.

The BBC reported that while some in attendance said there was an option to take part virtually, others had suggested there were groups in the room.

The PM’s press secretary said: “That was a virtual quiz.”