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Conservative Party aides in the UK invited for a ‘Jingle and Mingle’ event during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown

Conservative Party aides in the UK received an invitation to a “Jingle and Mingle” event during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, as revealed by the BBC on Monday. This came a day after the Mirror news outlet released a 45-second video allegedly showing Tory staff drinking and dancing while joking about bending lockdown rules in December 2020.

The invite, reportedly sent on behalf of former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ex-aide Ben Mallet, was sent to 30 people during Tier 2 COVID-19 restrictions in London, which prohibited indoor socializing. The invitation displayed a Christmas-themed “Jingle and Mingle” party “save the date” for December 14 at 6:00 pm, attributed to the Shaun Bailey for London holiday party.

The Conservative Party confirmed that four individuals faced disciplinary actions regarding the event but did not disclose their identities. The controversial lockdown parties occurred at the Tory party’s headquarters and were organized by Shaun Bailey’s campaign team during his bid for London mayor.

A spokesperson for Ben Mallet, who served as the campaign director for the Conservative Party’s candidate in 2021, stated that Mallet did not personally send out the invitation; it was sent by an administrator, according to the BBC.

The release of the invitation by the BBC coincided with the Mirror’s publication of a video purportedly showing Tory staff drinking and dancing. The Metropolitan Police in the UK confirmed that they are assessing the video, which was previously under investigation for alleged COVID-19 breaches.

While the Daily Mirror shared still images from the footage, Shaun Bailey himself does not appear in the video. Bailey had previously apologized for attending the party and claimed to be unaware of the video, expressing his distress over its contents.

During the lockdown, London was placed under Tier 2 COVID-19 restrictions, which prohibited indoor socializing unless with members of one’s household or a support bubble. However, individuals were allowed to socialize in gardens or at pubs with outdoor seating, with a maximum gathering size limited to six people.


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