Assembly Members call for police investigation into Shaun Bailey lockdown party

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Shaun Bailey arrives at the City Hall mayoral declaration (PA)
Shaun Bailey arrives at the City Hall mayoral declaration (PA)

Members of the London Assembly have called on the Metropolitan Police to investigate whether Shaun Bailey and his mayoral campaign team broke the law by holding a party during lockdown last December.

Mr Bailey this week resigned from his role as chair of the London Assembly police and crime committee after a photograph was released showing him alongside several members of his campaign team at a party on December 14 last year when household mixing was banned.

Following the release of the photograph and Mr Bailey’s resignation, members of the London Assembly Labour, Green and Liberal Democrat parties wrote to Met commissioner Cressida Dick calling for a criminal investigation of the matter.

The letter states that “it is essential that all those who breach the rules are held to account, not least those of us who are in public life”.

The Met has previously refused to investigate claims of parties held by members of the Government during lockdown – including an alleged party at Downing Street on December 18 – as there is “insufficient evidence”.

But in his first public comments following the release of the photograph, Shaun Bailey confirmed that he did attend “a gathering held by some of my staff in my campaign office last December”, which he called “a serious error of judgement”.

The former London mayoral candidate is currently the only member of the Conservative Party to have admitted to attending one of the several alleged parties that took place during lockdown.

Mr Bailey has failed to attend two London Assembly meetings following his resignation as chair of the police and crime committee despite the GLA Conservatives having said that he will “continue to speak up for Londoners” in his role as an Assembly Member.

On Wednesday, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan told BBC London that it was “inevitable” that Mr Bailey would have to quit the London Assembly entirely.

At the final Mayor’s Question Time of the year on Thursday, Mr Khan took a further swipe at his former mayoral rival.

He said: “It’s very difficult for people to try and ask others to follow the rules when they are breaking the rules themselves. When you see photographs of people who aspire to have the best jobs, the most responsibility, flagrantly breaking the rules it’s hardly a surprise when others don’t follow the rules."

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