TWO MPs from the city have accused the government of double-standards after leaked footage showed aides joking about a festive gathering last year, at a time when Covid restrictions prevented social mixing.

In footage obtained by ITV News, the Prime Minister's then-press secretary Allegra Stratton and adviser Ed Oldfield, along with other aides, were filmed joking about a "fictional" Downing Street party in December 2020.

The alleged gathering is said to have taken place while social mixing indoors was banned in London under Tier 3 restrictions.

Green MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas suggested the Prime Minister should resign if the allegations prove to be true, and said the latest government controversy was "worse than Hancock or Barnard Castle".

She said: "The Prime Minister allowed his staff to party in Downing Street as ordinary people were charged by police for gathering, as millions cancelled Christmas and some died without family to hold them.

"If true, this is a clear-cut resignation matter."

In the video, Ms Stratton said: "This fictional party was a business meeting... and it was not socially distanced."

One aide was also heard saying: "It wasn't a party, it was cheese and wine."

Peter Kyle, Labour MP for Hove and Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, accused the government of "laughing at all of us" and said that "they think the rules are for everyone else but them."

The Metropolitan Police confirmed officers are reviewing the leaked video in relation to "alleged breaches" of coronavirus regulations.

The allegations, initially reported in the Daily Mirror, claim that two events took place in Number 10 in the run-up to the festive season last year; a leaving do during November's lockdown and a staff party in December, where party games were played, and food and drinks served.

At the time, Tier 3 rules explicitly banned work Christmas lunches and parties where it is "a primarily social activity and is not otherwise permitted".

A Downing Street spokesman has denied the allegations, and said: "There was no Christmas party. Covid rules have been followed at all times."

It comes as the Department for Education (DfE) admitted it held a social gathering of staff in the lead-up to Christmas, in contravention to coronavirus social-distancing rules.

The Mirror reported that former education secretary Gavin Williamson threw a party and delivered a short speech at the event, which took place on December 10 while London was in Tier 2, which banned social mixing between households.

A DfE spokeswoman said: “While this was work-related, looking back we accept it would have been better not to have gathered in this way at that particular time.”

Comedy duo Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly poked fun at Prime Minister Johnson over the reports in yesterday's episode of I'm A Celebrity.

The pair referenced the allegations, saying the show's contestants "categorically deny" any suggestion they had a party in the Welsh castle.

Ant added: "And this fictional party definitely didn't involve cheese and wine, or a Secret Santa."

Dec then looked directly into the camera and said: "Evening Prime Minister... for now."

Have you got a story for us? Email or contact us here.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep up with all the latest news.

Sign up to our newsletter to get updates sent straight to your inbox.

You can also call us on 01273 021 400.