ITV News' intro to Downing Street Christmas party clip is absolutely brutal 6 months ago

ITV News' intro to Downing Street Christmas party clip is absolutely brutal

Tom Bradby was taking no prisoners.

ITV News anchor Tom Bradby has been praised for his brutal introduction to the channel's report on the infamous Downing Street Christmas party clip, in which staff at Number 10 laughed and joked about the party four days after it happened.

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On Tuesday, ITV got hold of a clip showing  Boris Johnson’s then spokesperson Allegra Stratton in a mock media briefing, joking that the "fictional party" was a "business meeting" where guests enjoyed "wine and cheese." She added that there was "definitely no social distancing."

The mock media briefing, said to have been recorded on December 22, shows Stratton’s colleagues pose a series of questions to help her rehearse for the now-scrapped daily TV briefings.

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The news segment on the clip was broadcast on Tuesday night on ITV, and presenter Tom Bradby made his feelings very clear on the clip.

At the beginning of the report he said: "They literally look as if they are laughing at us, you, me – all of us.

"Remember last Christmas? London was in Tier 3. All indoor gatherings banned, lives, we were told, could be at stake - the whole country about to go into lockdown, Christmas all but cancelled.

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"Meanwhile Downing Street staff were rehearsing their new press secretary for the planned televised press conferences. One asked a bit of a jokey question about a party allegedly held four nights before."

After the segment was broadcast, many praised Bradby for his no-nonsense approach to the story.

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Before the broadcast, Bradby tweeted that he thought the story would have "near total cut through."

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In response to ITV's report, a Downing Street spokesperson said: "There was no Christmas party. Covid rules have been followed at all times."

On Wednesday morning, no government ministers appeared on news programmes, with both the BBC and ITV calling out ministers for their no-shows.

But during Prime Minister's Questions, Johnson apologised for the "offence caused" by the clip, and said he was "furious to see" the clip.

He said: "I apologise unreservedly for the offence that it has caused up and down the country and I apologise for the impression that it gives.

"I have been repeatedly assured since these allegations emerged that there was no party and that no Covid rules were broken. I have asked the cabinet secretary to establish all the facts and to report back as soon as possible. If those rules were broken then there will be disciplinary action for those involved."