Hancock says leaked video doesn't confirm No10 party happened - but stresses PM wasn't there

Are you really saying after watching that Allegra Stratton video that we don't know a Christmas party happened?

Matt Hancock has said leaked footage obtained by ITV News showing Downing Street staff joking about holding a Christmas party in Number 10 does not confirm the event happened.

On Tuesday, ITV News revealed film of the Boris Johnson's then-spokesperson Allegra Stratton discussing the gathering just four days after it is alleged to have taken place last December, when indoor social gatherings were banned.

On ITV's Good Morning Britain, Mr Hancock was asked: "Are you really saying after that Allegra Stratton video that we don't know a Christmas party happened - you're reading it very differently to the rest of the nation."

To which he replied: "You need to get to the bottom of the facts, and I don't know those facts".

Watch the full exchange between Ed Oldfield and Allegra Stratton in the mock televised press briefing

"You rehearse all of the difficult potential questions," Mr Hancock said.

"But they're not making that up, they're referring to something that actually happened," presenter Adil Ray replied. To which Mr Hancock said: "I don't know that".

The Conservative MP was health secretary at the time the footage was filmed but resigned the following year after admitting breaching social distancing guidelines by kissing his close aide - again, revealed in leaked footage.

Pushed further on the issue, as the only Conservative MP who had agreed to appear on the programme on Wednesday morning, Mr Hancock repeatedly said he didn't know about the issue.

He stressed: "I wasn't there, the PM wasn't there, I don't know anything more about it".

Asked if people should lose their job if it's confirmed the event did happen (given his own resignation over rule breaking) Mr Hancock said the situation was hypothetical and refused to answer.

The former health secretary said he wasn't aware of any parties having been held in his own department when he was a minister. "We were working pretty hard," he said.