The vaccines minister Maggie Throup tried to toe the party line on BBC Question Time when she evaded questions about the alleged Christmas party.
The Mirror broke a story that there was a gathering of around 40 or 50 people on December 18 last year in No.10, while the rest of London was in Tier 3 Covid restrictions – meaning people could not socialise outside their households indoors.
Ministers have been trying to address the scrutiny by claiming that all of the Covid rules were followed at the time – but this isn’t quite answering questions over whether the party actually happened.
Throup was in the spotlight on Thursday when Question Time audience member asked for clarity over whether the party had actually taken place.
She repeated the party line and said: “I have been reassured that all guidance was carefully followed.”
The show’s host Fiona Bruce then turned to the audience and asked: “Does that answer your question?”
When the crowd replied with a resounding “no”, Bruce asked Throup: “Do you want another go?”
“My answer is not going to change because the guidance was followed, as the prime minister quite clearly said,” Throup maintained.
While Labour’s shadow minister Thagnam Debbonaire put her head in her hands, the audience groaned.
Bruce butted in and said: ”So clearly there was no Christmas party.”
The rules stated at the time that people could not have parties with anyone outside of their social bubble.
Throup replied: “Whatever the event was, then the guidance was followed.”
“So there was an event,” Bruce said.
Throup then tried to conclude the topic by saying, “this has just been rumour and hearsay,” but judging by Twitter’s reaction, the subject is far from over.