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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Phoebe Jobling & Mikey Smith

Grant Shapps quizzed by GMB presenters on why No.10 staff were told to leave Christmas quiz ‘by back door’

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps appeared on Good Morning Britain on Wednesday to address more claims about Christmas parties.

The Conservative MP joined presenters Adil Ray and Ranvir Singh live from Westminster where he was quizzed on the Government's recent antics.

His appearance comes after Boris Johnson was pictured hosting a Christmas quiz from No.10 Downing Street in December last year, allegedly breaching Coronavirus restrictions at the time.

And it has now emerged that staff in attendance were told to leave the festive quiz 'by the back door', according to an exclusive report by The Mirror.


In an email seen by The Mirror, No.10's head of HR allegedly told staff taking part in the quiz to leave through the rear exit.

At 9.39pm on December 15 2020, a message was said to have been sent to the chat group being used for the quiz, which read: “Go out the back.”

Following the news, GMB co-hosts Adil Ray and Ranvir Singh put Transport Sec Grant Shapps on the spot live on air.

"What appears to have been authorised is that quiz because there is an email that has come out that suggests that people attending should go out through the back door of Number 10 Downing Street," said Ranvir Singh.

Stuttering, Grant responds: "I saw the picture of the quiz which was a rather different picture from the weekend, I think we can separate the two.

"The Prime Minister is sat in front of a virtual screen thanking staff for 10 or 15 minutes."

Boris Johnson hosting a round of a Christmas Quiz from Number 10 (Copyright: Sunday Mirror)

Interrupting him, Ranvir said: "It's where all the other staff were and who knew that they were all together in the same room."

As a picture of Boris Johnson hosting the quiz appeared on screen, Grant continued: "You can see that picture on your screen now and that doesn't look like a rave to me."

"But it doesn't look like a work meeting either," Adil Ray said.

"People at home want some answers. The report now is that people were told to leave through the back exit.

"If this was a work thing why on earth would you send an email out days before saying 'by the way make sure everyone leaves through the back exit'?"

Before trying to avoid the question, Grant eventually answered, "That would be quite a routine message received, if I'm in No.10 there could be anything happening outside the front door."

Ranvir said: "I.e reporters. All of you don't want to be seen leaving having popped down to Tesco to get drinks."

"Quite often there's an event happening outside or something with the Christmas tree so it's quite routine to be asked to leave via a different exit."

Tory aides Christmas party (The Mirror)

Grant Shapps' appearance also comes after a picture emerged last night, December 14, showing 24 Tory aides wearing festive jumpers as they breached lockdown rules at a Christmas bash last year.

The party allegedly took place whilst London was under Tier 2 restrictions and the country was urged to minimise contact and socially distance.

In response to this picture, the Transport Sec said: "I think it is disgraceful. This time last year my dad was in hospital and we couldn't visit him for four months.

"I was being careful to stick to all of the rules and I expected everybody should do the same.

"That wasn't a Conservative party thing but more of the mayoral candidacy."

The MP then said four individuals have been disciplined.

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