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Scottish Secretary cancels Christmas drinks as Boris Johnson faces pressure over Number 10 ‘party’

Alister Jack.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack “postponed” a festive drinks reception hours after Boris Johnson faced calls to quit over a Christmas party allegedly in breach of Covid rules last year.

Mr Jack had invited members of the media to Queen Elizabeth House in Edinburgh on December 16, where he would have expected to be quizzed over his support for the prime minister.

However, his plans were stopped on Wednesday morning. Mr Jack’s office confirmed they had decided to “postpone next week’s media drinks till the New Year”.

It comes as Boris Johnson faces growing pressure to resign after video footage emerged showing senior No 10 staff laughing and joking about a Christmas party held during coronavirus restrictions last December.

Alister Jack and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The video, which was leaked to ITV, shows the prime minister’s then press secretary Allegra Stratton and adviser Ed Oldfield, along with other aides, joking about a Downing Street Christmas party during a mock press conference.

It shows senior aides laughing about a “cheese and wine” evening, including reports it included alcohol and a Secret Santa present-giving.

Downing Street insisted again on Tuesday there was no Christmas party and coronavirus rules had been followed at all times.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford and shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray are among those who have called for the prime minister to consider his position.

Mr Jack has already said he was not invited to any Christmas party at No 10 last year.

Other political parties, the Scottish Parliament and the first minister have regularly hosted social events at Christmas, before the pandemic, where the media are invited to attend.

Boris Johnson told to resign immediately as prime minister over No 10 Christmas party

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