Sir Bob Neill, Conservative MP for Bromley and Chislehurst, says he is “disappointed and angered” by reports that a Downing Street Christmas party was held last year in breach of lockdown rules.

Boris Johnson told MPs on Wednesday that he was “furious” after footage emerged showing aides joking about festive celebrations in December 2020, and apologised “unreservedly” for the offence caused.

But he insisted he had been repeatedly assured “there was no party and no Covid rules were broken”.

In a statement released this afternoon, Sir Bob said: “Like many constituents, I have been disappointed and angered by the recent reports of a Christmas party in Downing Street on December 18 last year.

News Shopper: Allegra Stratton speaking outside her home in north London where she announced that she has resigned as an adviser to Boris Johnson (PA)Allegra Stratton speaking outside her home in north London where she announced that she has resigned as an adviser to Boris Johnson (PA)

“As with the overwhelming majority of people, my family and I have followed the rules over the last twenty-one months, even when it’s been painful or caused real difficulties, as I know it has for many.

“It is only fair that everyone does the same, regardless of who they are or where they work.

“There cannot be a perception that there is one rule for some and another for everyone else, which only undermines our collective effort and the considerable sacrifices so many have made.”

Sir Bob added: "Those involved should come clean immediately and must be prepared to face the consequences of their actions."

Several other Tory backbenchers, along with the former Scottish Conservatives leader, Ruth Davidson, have expressed concerns over the affair – arguing that the allegations, if true, are “unacceptable” and “indefensible”.

News Shopper has asked all Conservative MPs in south east London for their response to the revelations.

Gareth Bacon, MP for Orpington, Louie French, MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, David Evennett MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, and Bob Stewart, MP for Beckenham, are yet to comment.

The Prime Minister has ordered an investigation into the claims staff broke lockdown rules, despite repeatedly insisting that rules were followed in Downing Street since the claims first emerged.

Allegra Stratton, who was the Prime Minister’s spokeswoman, resigned after the leaked clip emerged, offering “profound apologies” and saying she would “regret those remarks for the rest of my days”.

Mr Johnson said he had asked Cabinet Secretary Simon Case “to establish all the facts and to report back as soon as possible – and it goes without saying that if those rules were broken then there will be disciplinary action for all those involved”.

Downing Street’s official line has now shifted with the announcement of the Case inquiry, with the Prime Minister’s press secretary declining to repeat the statement that “there was no party”.

She said “it wouldn’t be right to comment further” while Mr Case was investigating.

Number 10 would not give a timetable for Mr Case’s investigation to conclude, but the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said “we want it to be as soon as possible”.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the Prime Minister’s apology “raises more questions than answers” as he had been “caught red-handed”.

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