Norwich public anger grows at government's alleged lockdown-breaking Christmas party

  • 'We just need the truth" - People in Norwich react to the government's alleged lockdown-breaking Christmas party

People getting their coronavirus booster jabs have spoken of their anger and disappointment as pressure grows on Boris Johnson and the government over an alleged lockdown-breaking Christmas party held at Downing Street.

Members of the public today told ITV News Anglia they believed the government's behaviour could put lives at risk by hampering vaccine uptake, and efforts to curb the new Omicron variant.

They were reacting after footage obtained by ITV News showed the prime minister's aides joking about attending the alleged Christmas party last year - which the government denies ever happened.

Meanwhile, one of the region's Tory MPs said the emergence of the video had cast the PM's denials "in a different light".

Speaking about the Prime Minister, Waveney MP Peter Aldous, said: "He is a person who has tremendous skills, I believe very popular in the country, is the Conservative that gets the parts that other Conservatives do not reach. But I sense he does need to up his game and I sense that there is a need, he needs to surround himself with wise heads and wise council and listen to that very very carefully and work in a more coherent manner with senior members of government."

Richard Robinson, who was receiving his booster jab at the Castle Quarter shopping centre in Norwich on Wednesday, said he thought the situation was "terrible".

"It seems like they've got a rule for themselves and one for us," he said. "[It send the message that] we can all do what we want. If they can, why can't everyone?"

Frances Roff from Norwich echoed that, adding: "I think it's very sad that we have to take our politicians to account like this.

"What's important is we need truth. We don't need any fudging, we just need the truth."

Od Nanka-Bruce, who was also getting a booster jab, said the behaviour of politicians was "disappointing".

"I think the British public are pretty compliant. For elected politicians to feel that the rules don't apply to them it's just disappointing and will hamper efforts to make sure everyone is vaccinated and everyone follows the rules...

"Why should we when other people aren't?"

Over the past week Mr Johnson and his ministers have attempted to dismiss accusations of rule-breaking in Number 10 last Christmas, but the new footage makes claims that Covid rules were always followed in Downing Street harder to maintain.

The alleged party is said to have taken place on December 18 while millions of people in the UK were being forced to avoid socialising because of coronavirus lockdowns.

At the time London was in Tier 3 restrictions, under which the law clearly stated: “No person may participate in a gathering in the Tier 3 area which consists of two or more people, and takes place in any indoor space.”