Kate Garraway calls Downing Street party allegations ‘heartbreaking and ridiculous’

Kate Garraway has commented on the Downing Street Christmas party that allegedly took place while her husband, Derek Draper, was still severely ill from Covid-19.

Boris Johnson’s former press secretary Allegra Stratton quit her government role yesterday (8 December) after being filmed making light of an alleged Christmas party held at No 10 last year.

Around 50 aides are reported to have enjoyed alcohol, food and a secret Santa at a time when London was under strict Tier 3 controls barring most indoor gatherings.

Speaking to TV cameras outside her home in London, a tearful Ms Stratton offered her “profound apologies” for her remarks, but did not comment on whether the party took place.

Garraway labelled the allegations surrounding the party “heartbreaking and ridiculous” during Thursday’s (9 December) episode of Good Morning Britain.

Speaking to co-host Susanna Reid, the 54-year-old broadcaster said: “I just don’t want to throw stones, basically, because the obvious thing to say is it’s heartbreaking and ridiculous and I can’t believe it because I don’t think they’re a group of evil people.”

In response, Reid said no one is describing “malign intent” here but reminded viewers there were only two lawful ways to host an indoor gathering of more than 30 people in December last year.

However, none of those rules seemed to apply in the case of the party reportedly held at No 10 on 18 December, when Tier 3 restrictions were in force in London.

Reid explained that permissions for organised gatherings mandated that guests refrain from mingling with anyone outside their household.

The only other legal route was if the gathering in question was deemed “reasonably necessary for work”, she continued, adding that it seemed “doubtful” the alleged Christmas party at No 10 fulfilled this criteria.

The co-hosts struggled to understand how “people at Downing Street weren’t doing the same thing” as families around the UK, who were making difficult personal sacrifices to follow the government-mandated rules.

During Piers Morgan’s last episode of Life Stories, filmed in November this year, Garraway said coronavirus had “devastated Draper from the top of his head to the tip of his toe.”

Johnson has agreed to an internal investigation into allegations of a Covid-rule-breaking Christmas party in Downing Street in the face of mounting public anger.

During a press conference on Wednesday (8 December), a tightening of rules was announced, including the return of work-from-home guidance, Covid health certificates becoming mandatory in large venues, and mask rules being extended to combat the rapidly-spreading omicron variant in England.

Additional reporting by Press Association


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