Matt Hancock grilled on Downing Street Christmas party
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Good Morning Britain presenters Adil Ray and Susanna Reid grilled disgraced Health Secretary Matt Hancock over No 10 staff joking about a Christmas party while the nation was under strict COVID-19 restrictions in a leaked recording. Hancock, who was Health Secretary at the time, insisted he didn’t know any more about the alleged party than the newspapers had published on Wednesday’s instalment of the show. However, many viewers took to social media calling for Hancock to “stop embarrassing himself”.
Good Morning Britain viewers took to Twitter to blast the “cringe” interview, with Hannah Barker remarking: “Matt Hancock is embarrassing himself, please stop.”
Amy added: “Such a b****y awkward interview! Why did he agree to this when he clearly won’t answer anything?”
Kimbers commented: “Oh wow. Cringing at this Matt Hancock interview #GMB.”
Tina Carruthers fumed: “#gmb What’s the point of having Hancock on, he’s not answering anything?”
During the heated interview with Hancock, Reid told the former minister: “We had a lockdown, we had a second lockdown and London was in Tier 3 and nobody could get together unless they were in a bubble with them.
“You could only meet people outdoors, and meanwhile Downing Street are having cheese and wine and playing secret Santa.
“And we have seen the video that came out last night which suggested that those people who were the spokespeople for the Government were preparing to give an answer about it.
“691 people died that day and you were the Health Secretary trying to stop those deaths.”
Hancock replied: “Yes, and like I said I don’t know anything more about it than that.
“What I know is that the Prime Minister said no rules were broken and no one is suggesting that he was at this party.
“And as you say I was working incredibly hard at the time.”
His appearance on Good Morning Britain came after a video obtained by ITV showed senior Government staff joking about holding a Christmas party days after one was held there during a lockdown.
Within the video, the Prime Minister’s press secretary Allegra Stratton is asked by colleagues about reports of a party as they rehearse a news conference last December.
She said in the jokey exchanges: “This fictional party was a business meeting and it was not socially distanced.”
Downing Street continues to insist no party took place, however, a source previously confirmed to the BBC that a party did take place on December 18 with “several dozen” people in attendance.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed officers are reviewing the leaked video linked in relation to “alleged breaches” of coronavirus regulations.
Responding to the allegations a Downing Street spokesman said: “There was no Christmas party. Covid rules have been followed at all times.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has declined to repeat the claim from Downing Street that staff did not hold a Christmas party in No 10 during Covid restrictions.
The Prime Minister instead insisted no rules were broken as the Times reported that staff wore festive jumpers and were asked to bring “secret Santa” gifts.
Good Morning Britain continues weekdays on ITV between 6am and 9am.
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