Chairman of the House of Commons Defence Committee and former LSU President Tobias Elwood has come under fire today for allegedly attending a Christmas dinner event with 27 guests the night before London entered Tier 3.
The MP has openly called for tighter COVID restrictions in the House of Commons, and said he checked with the central London venue before attending to check that it was Covid compliant.
Elwood gave a speech at the event, which was hosted by the Iraq-Britain Business Council, at the Cavalry and Guards Club in Piccadilly on Tuesday.
The event was described by the group on its website as its annual ‘Christmas Party’, but Mr Elwood has argued that it was aa ‘business meeting’ that was legally allowed under the Tier Two restrictions at the time, and that he gave the speech and then left the event, so was Covid-compliant.
Mr Elwood was the Loughborough Students’ Union President in 1990, being elected after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree, and is the Conservative MP for Bournemouth East.
Earlier this week, he called for the Christmas relaxation of rules to be reconsidered, saying that he was concerned that ‘letting down our guard’ during the period could be “very dangerous indeed” – the day before attending the event.
Let’s not begin the New Year with a 3rd Wave.
Letting down our guard for 5 days over Xmas could be very dangerous indeed. pic.twitter.com/NMTrvSfU86
— Tobias Ellwood MP (@Tobias_Ellwood) December 14, 2020
Home Secretary Priti Patel has said that the alleged Christmas dinner speech was an ‘egregious breach’ of Covid rules, and told ITV that “Having dinner outside of the rules with a large number of people is a breach of the regulations.”
Event organiser Baroness Nicholson told the BBC that once she became aware that the event have been described as a “party” she asked for it to be clarified, saying that she thought the description was down to someone “trying to be cheerful”.
The news broke on the same day as it was confirmed that Leicestershire area would remain in Tier 3 until the next review, which will take place in two weeks time.
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