BBC journalist’s latest Downing Street party video further skewers the government’s response to the scandal

BBC journalist’s latest Downing Street party video further skewers the government’s response to the scandal

The BBC’s Ros Atkins has been making quite the name for himself thanks to his succinct explainers on the latest mishaps and scandals in the world of politics.

And he’s knocked it out of the park again with his latest video on the Downing Street party/ not party/ wine and cheese night/ business meeting... in which he explained how the government has responded to continued allegations and exposed inconsistencies in their approach.

In the clip, he showed that video of Allegra Stratton gathering ideas about what the government should say if it was ever questioned about a festive party – one of which is alleged to have taken place on 18 December 2020. He put this in context of the Covid regulations at the time, replaying clips in which Johnson announced that Christmas was cancelled and said there had been thousands of deaths that month from the virus.

Atkins then charted his way through the wriggling the government has undertaken since the Mirror broke the party story, showing ministers on broadcast rounds offering contradictory and vague explanations for the party, first refusing to confirm it but maintaining that if it happened “rules were followed”, before issuing an official denial on 6 December.

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“Remember, this was a party in Number 10 and attended by Number 10 staff. Checking these claims would not be hard to do then or now,” Atkins said.

He then showed a clip of an interview with a woman who lost her mother to Covid who was furious about the party, before playing Johnson’s apology for the leaked video, which he made in parliament on Thursday, and Stratton’s resignation.

Atkins made it clear that her resignation doesn’t mean the case is closed. He said:

“Her resignation is about the video, but on the party Mr Johnson’s latest response still doesn’t match the available evidence.”

He also noted various details of the party which publications have reported. “Secret Santa. Christmas jumpers. A proper spread...” he said, before showing how the opposition has responded, as well as senior Tories like Douglas Ross who isn’t best pleased with the government.

He also said Johnson has asked for an inquiry into the matter. And this is a bit of an odd move because, as he explains: “Mr Johnson has been repeatedly saying that there was no party, that no rules were broken. Now he has appeared to have ordered an investigation to see if what he was saying was true.”

Atkins has made similar videos keeping the public updates through the twists and turns of this scandal and has received widespread praise for doing so.

And his latest video has caused more people to shower him with praise:

He concluded: “In over a week since we first learnt about this party, we’re still waiting for the prime minister to tell us exactly what happened last December in Downing Street.”


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