An employee Christmas party has been held at the office of the man tasked with investigating Downing Street lockdown parties, it has been reported.
There are now calls for Cabinet Secretary Simon Case to drop the investigation into gatherings within Government agencies.
Two Christmas parties were held at Mr Case’s department – Cabinet Office – in December 2020, according to Guido Fawkes website.
This is a time when limits are set and the public is faced with challenging measures to prevent social mixing.
About 15 people are said to have been invited to an event, and at least one participated in drinking and music, it is reported.
The website was revealed by a source that Mr Case was not in attendance, but allegedly ‘poked his head into the room to call staff out at various points during the party’.
One of the parties was held on December 17th – the day before the supposed Christmas party in Downing Street at the center of the story, time report.
The newspaper said the event was listed on the digital calendar as a ‘Christmas party!’ and organized by a private secretary on Mr Case’s team.
A joint investigation by Politico and The Independent said Mr Case shared drinks with between 15 and 20 staff members at his office and in a waiting room outside the Cabinet Office.
The Scottish National Party’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford has called for Mr Case’s removal from the investigation and his resignation.
Both Mr Johnson and Tory chairman Oliver Dowden said they were certain Mr Case’s investigation would find no wrongdoing.
And Mr Johnson insists the public is more concerned with other issues such as coronavirus, while suggesting media coverage of bankrupt parties cost the Tories North Shropshire in the election.
He told broadcasters that ‘what people have heard is just a constant flurry of information about politics, politicians and things that have nothing to do with them’.
But Mr Blackford said: ‘The Prime Minister’s appointed principal investigator into Downing Street parties is also believed to have staged a party in his office – while thousands were forced to take leave. Christmas apart due to necessary coronavirus restrictions. He, along with his investigative report, must go. ‘
He said it was important to have an investigation by an independent arbitrator – someone who owes nothing to the UK government, and in a letter to the Prime Minister suggested that the judge preside.
In his letter, he added: ‘Simply put, the public suspects this is a limited, fraudulent internal investigation and an attempt to evade accountability. They now know that the person you appointed to investigate is also involved. ‘
Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said: ‘With each revelation, there is further evidence of a culture of ignoring the rules.
‘Labour makes clear that the person leading the investigation is not condescending, free to make an independent judgment. That is now in serious doubt. ‘
In a statement, the Cabinet Office told Politico and The Independent: ‘These allegations are completely untrue.’
The Cabinet Office has been contacted for comment.
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https://metro.co.uk/2021/12/17/christmas-party-probe-chief-simon-case-hosted-drinks-for-staff-15789223/ Christmas party chief investigator Simon Case 'organized drinks for staff'