Thursday, 27 Jan 2022

‘Did nobody think to check?’ Sky News host has Javid squirming in awkward rule probe

Mark Harper grills Sajid Javid on Plan B measures

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Sky News’ Niall Paterson challenged the Health Secretary over his claims that no party ever took place as he had been reassured by “senior people”. Mr Paterson accused the Cabinet of “taking the public for fools” after both the Department of Education and CCHQ were forced to admit parties did take place despite the coronavirus rules in place last year. Sajid Javid told the Sky presenter: “I have received assurances, like the Prime Minister has, that all rules were followed throughout the pandemic at all times.”

Mr Paterson said: “Who is providing those reassurances?

“Because we’ve heard this, from Government minister sitting where you are all this week. We’ve heard it countless times from the Prime Minister, ‘I have been told, I have been reassured.’

“Who is saying?”

The Health Secretary replied: “I’m not going to get into names but senior people have assured me that rules have been followed.”

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But the answer appeared not to convince Mr Paterson, who quipped: “Did nobody think to check this?”

Mr Sajid said: “The Prime Minister has acted completely correcting in ordering an investigation and to find out what may or may not have happened, and to have that investigation done by the Cabinet Secretary who is free to look wherever he wishes, speak to whoever he wants.”

The Health Secretary was also questioned over his decision to forego his scheduled morning media round following the leak of a video showing Number 10 staff laughing at social distancing rules and seemingly discussing a Christmas party.

He said: “I didn’t appear because I saw that video. It upset me, it upset a lot of people across the country, it upset the Prime Minister.

“I spoke to my colleagues in Number 10 and we actually agreed it’s best to have some time to respond to the video in the way the prime minister now has with an investigation by the Cabinet Secretary.”

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