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The leaked footage appears to be from a rehearsal for Downing Street’s planned televised news briefings which never went ahead.

Ms Stratton can be heard jokingly referring to there having been “cheese and wine” after being asked a mock question about a Christmas Party by pressroom staff.

In footage obtained by ITV News, Ms Stratton is seen answering questions at a mock press conference on December 22 about a party the previous Friday – the date of the alleged Covid rule-breaking gathering which is said to have been attended by dozens of colleagues while social mixing indoors was banned in London under Tier 3 restrictions.

Mr Oldfield can be heard asking Ms Stratton: “I’ve just seen reports on Twitter that there was a Downing Street Christmas party on Friday night, do you recognise those reports?”