Michael Gove apologises after being shown new 'terrible' Partygate video live on-air
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Michael Gove apologises after being shown new 'terrible' Partygate video live on-air.
The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has issued a statement this morning (18 June) after footage showing Conservative staff 'flouting' lockdown rules recently came to light.
The newly-emerged footage in question sees Tory staff joking at their lockdown Christmas party that they were 'bending the rules'.
At least 24 people are thought to have been at the party, which took place at the Conservative Party HQ at the end of 2020.
In the video, which shows staff celebrating during lockdown, Sophy Ridge asks Gove: "So, what do you think of this?"
Ridge continued: "I mean, this was laughing, talking about bending the rules.
"There's photos of social distancing in the room that are clearly being ignored. What's your reaction?"
Gove said: "Well, I think it's completely out of order.
"As I understand it, this was an event that was organised by the people who were running the mayoral campaign for Shaun Bailey.
"They had obviously behaved in a way which is unacceptable."
He continued: "I understand that the people who organised this were subsequently investigated and disciplined by conservative campaign headquarters.
"I don't know if this video was available to the people doing that investigation and who were responsible for that disciplinary procedure but it was certainly the case that I think a photograph had emerged beforehand, showing some of the people at this party posing with a cake and behaving in an unacceptable fashion."
"So I just want to apologise to everyone really who, looking at that image will think, 'Well, these are people who are
flouting the rules that were put in place to protect us all'."
The video, obtained by the Mirror, shows members of staff celebrating in London on 14 December 2020, as well as laughing about bending lockdown rules the public were made to follow at the time.
Over 20 people were in attendance, including Shaun Bailey, now Lord Bailey, whose campaign team organised the event. as well as Ben Mallet.
However, while Bailey was featured in the photographs, he was not seen in the video.
When the lockdown party was held, indoor socialising was banned under tier 2 restrictions.
Elsewhere in the interview, Ridge asked Gove about his opinions on the two people featured in the latest 'Partygate' video who have received honours.
"Do you think the two people in the photo should have receive honours?" she asked.
And Gove answered: "I think you should follow the procedures.
"What I won't do is pass commentary on someone else's choice.
"It's for Boris to defend his choice of peers."