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Boris Johnson’s advisor resigns after she was seen laughing in ‘Downing Street Christmas party’ video

Allegra Stratton issued an emotional statement this afternoon

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Policy Exchange / Flickr

Allegra Stratton has resigned as an adviser to Boris Johnson after footage emerged of her joking about a Downing Street Christmas party last year.

In a tearful statement this afternoon, the Prime Minister’s former spokesperson offered her ‘profound apologies’ to the British public, noting that she had ‘become a distraction in the fight against the Covid pandemic‘.

Fighting back tears, she said: “My remarks seemed to make light of the rules, rules that people were doing everything to obey.

“That was never my intention… I will regret those remarks for the rest of my days and I offer my profound apologies to all of you at home for them.”

She didn’t confirm whether there had indeed been a party or not – something Boris Johnson continues to deny – and instead added: “I understand the anger and frustration that people feel.

“To all of you who lost loved ones, who endured intolerable loneliness, and who struggled with your businesses, I am truly sorry.

“And this afternoon I am offering my resignation to the Prime Minister.”

The video, obtained by ITV News and shot on December 22nd 2020, showed the moment Allegra was quizzed about a rumoured Christmas party, to which she laughed and referenced a ‘business meeting’ with no social distancing.

Laughing and gesturing to the camera, Stratton says: “This is recorded … This fictional party was a business meeting and it was not socially distanced.”

Prime ministerial adviser Ed Oldfield could also be seen sitting in the audience, laughing and pointing out that it ‘wasn’t a party… It was cheese and wine.’

Since the footage went viral, people across the nation have been reacting in horror, particularly those from Greater Manchester, who were living under strict Tier 3 restrictions at the time. 

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Boy, 15, arrested after teenage boy stabbed to death outside school

He’s the second person to be arrested

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West Yorkshire Police

A teenage boy has been arrested following the murder of a 15-year-old on Wednesday.

The suspect, also 15, was picked up by police after student Khayri McLean was stabbed to death in Huddersfield.

He has now been arrested in connection with the murder.

He’s the second person to be arrested as police investigate Khayri’s death outside his school.

West Yorkshire Police said: “Police investigating the murder of 15-year-old Khayri McLean in Huddersfield have arrested a second youth in connection with the incident.

“The 15-year-old male was arrested yesterday and is currently in custody. A 16-year-old male who was arrested yesterday also remains in custody.

“Officers from West Yorkshire Police’s homicide and major enquiry team (HMET) are continuing to conduct enquiries into the death of Khayri, who died after being stabbed on Woodhouse Hill, Huddersfield, on Wednesday.”

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Kwasi Kwarteng scraps cap on bankers’ bonuses in first mini-budget as Chancellor

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Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng gave his first mini-budget in the House of Commons this morning.

He began by discussing the government’s plan to support people with the cost of energy, including freezing domestic bills at £2,500 and giving out the £400 rebate.

There’s also unit price limits for companies.

Kwarteng said he believes the UK needs a ‘new approach for a new era’ to achieve growth of 2.5%, saying the three important parts of his mini-budget are reforming the economy’s supply side, tax cuts and a responsible approach when it comes to public finances.

As part of this, the Chancellor announced a new bill to overhaul planning restrictions, saying this will ‘unpick the complex patchwork of planning restrictions and EU-derived laws’.

He revealed that benefit claimants will see their benefits reduced if they do not fulfil their job searching commitments.

Kwarteng also confirmed that the cap on bankers’ bonuses will be scrapped, following reports that he would make this one of his first moves.

As well as that, the planned corporation tax increase has been cancelled, and will remain at 19%, with the Chancellor also setting out a series of tax cuts for businesses.

This includes tax cuts for businesses in designated tax sites for 10 years, accelerated tax reliefs for buildings, and no business rates to pay for newly occupied business residences.

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Drag Race UK star Cherry Valentine has died aged 28

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@thecherryvalentine / Instagram

Drag star George Ward, known as Cherry Valentine, has sadly passed away aged 28, it’s been confirmed this morning.

Ward’s family announced the news, describing his death as a ‘profound shock’.

He appeared on series two of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, before going on to front the BBC documentary Gypsy Queen And Proud.

According to his family, Ward – who was raised in Darlington, County Durham as part of the Traveller community – died on Sunday.

He qualified as a mental health nurse back in 2015 before he began his career in drag.

Ward’s family said in a statement: “It is with the most heart-wrenching and deepest sadness to inform you that our George – Cherry Valentine – has tragically passed away.

“This will come as a profound shock to most people and we understand there is no easy way for this to be announced.

“As his family, we are still processing his death and our lives will never be the same.

“We understand how much he is loved and how many lives he has inspired and touched. All we ask is for your patience and your prayers in this time. We love you Georgie.”

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