Steerpike

Kay Burley’s party hypocrisy

Kay Burley's party hypocrisy
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It's the most wonderful time of the year – except if you're working in Boris Johnson's press office. Much has been made in recent days of No. 10's lockdown shenanigans, amid reports that Boris Johnson's aides threw a party last December when London was under Tier 3 restrictions, which banned mixing between households. According to the Daily Mirror, about 40 to 50 Downing Street staff packed 'cheek by jowl' into a medium-sized room in the No. 10 bunker for a 'boozy' Christmas shindig – a bit like Downfall, but without the hope.

Naturally, such claims have prompted an outpouring of anger, indignation and disgust from the usual suspects of the permanently enraged brigade. And no-one has been keener to lead the Twitter charge than the ever-online queen of Sky News, Kay Burley, Osterley's answer to Miranda Priestly. On her show this morning, Burley demonstrated both her flare for publicity and penchant for generating headlines by grilling Policing Minister Kit Malthouse as to whether a 'Covid rule-breaking Christmas party' had taken place. The compromised Malthouse could only bluster as our fearless searcher for truth grilled the melting minister, demanding to know why the police are not investigating.

Admirable stuff from a veteran pro, but is Burley really best-placed to talk? For just eight days before the No. 10 party allegedly took place, the Sky News star was suspended herself – indeed almost losing her job – after she was found to have breached London's tier 2 Covid restrictions. The self-confessed 'idiot' was suspended for six months after flouting social distancing rules at her 60th birthday party along with colleagues Beth Rigby and Inzamam Rashid.

And while No. 10's 'party' was at their place of work, Burley had her bash at a 'Covid-compliant' restaurant. Mr S knows which one he'd rather have been at...

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk or message @MrSteerpike

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