Leaked Downing Street video footage exposes staff laughing about party

Leaked Downing Street video footage exposes staff laughing about party

It’s outside of the scope of this website to determine whether newspaper claims that 10 Downing Street held a booze-fuelled Christmas party that “broke Covid lockdown rules” in December last year are accurate or not.

But what’s interesting to me is that once again video has leaked from inside the Government that has put it in hot water.

ITV News has obtained Downing Street footage from December 22 last year (a few days after the alleged lockdown-breaking party).

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The footage shows Downing Street staff rehearsing a TV press conference – with advisers to Prime Minister Boris Johnson posing tricky questions about the party that had just taken place, while posing as the press.

Johnson’s then spokesperson Allegra Stratton clearly finds it very difficult to find a way to spin the controversial party in a way that the real media might find acceptable…

Whether you care about whether Downing Street broke Covid lockdown rules a year ago or not might depend on whether you know anyone who died from Covid, or if you were not able to meet up with loved ones or attend a party, because of the rules imposed by the Government.

I’m not really interested in your opinions on that. What I’m interested is who had access to this (presumably confidential) footage of a press conference rehearsal, and then chose to leak it to ITV News.

It feels to me like the UK Government might again have someone in its midst who finds its behaviour hypocritical, and wishes for it to be exposed.

And that sounds to me like a security issue, whichever side of the political fence you sit on, and whatever party might be in power.

And wouldn’t you have thought security would have been tightened up after the mysterious leak of a furtive snog in CCTV footage signalled the end of Health Minister Matt Hancock’s career?

Once again, it seems a whistleblower inside the UK Government has been able to pass video footage onto the media that casts the-powers-that-be in a bad light.

You might think that it’s justified. Indeed, I think it’s justified. But it shouldn’t be something that’s easy to do.

If it’s easy to leak sensitive video footage from inside the halls of power then it could happen again and again, and maybe next time a breach could have more serious consequences.

Found this article interesting? Follow Graham Cluley on Twitter to read more of the exclusive content we post.

Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon’s Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy.

Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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