UK Minister Apologizes After Newly Released Video Shows COVID-19 Lockdown ‘Partygate’

Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images

Alyssa Blakemore Contributor
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Newly emerged video of government officials drinking, dancing and mocking lockdown rules prompted renewed criticism Sunday of an ongoing “Partygate” scandal which allegedly took place under strict pandemic lockdown measures.

Two partygoers are seen dancing past a sign instructing, “Please keep your distance” during a December 2020 party which allegedly occurred at Conservative campaign headquarters in London, footage obtained by The Mirror showed.

While the U.K. banned families from gathering over the holiday season, the campaign team of then-London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey organized a party which featured guests careening into a buffet table and another joking about breaking the rules, according to video supplied by The Mirror. (RELATED: ‘Nobody Warned Me’: UK PM Denies Knowing Party Was Against Lockdown Rules)

Housing Secretary Michael Gove apologized for the video, calling it “indefensible,” according to the BBC. Two of the more than 20 guests present were named on former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resignation honours, The Mirror reported.

The video comes as former Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced he was leaving Parliament following the release of the Partygate report. The report revealed the former leader hosted parties during the COVID-19 pandemic as his government enforced strict lockdowns across the country. Johnson faced pressure to step down after he admitted he misled Parliament during evidence presentations regarding the offenses.

“Revellers openly mocked the rules the British people followed,” said Labour Party deputy leader Angela Rayner of the newly emerged 2021 video. “The Tories think it’s one rule for them and one rule for everyone else.”

A previously published photo of the event proved insufficient to determine an offense was committed, according a November 2022 Metropolitan Police investigation cited by The Mirror. “We are aware of the footage and are considering it,” a Scotland Yard spokesperson stated Sunday.