Tory MP Tobias Ellwood is suggesting that Shaun Bailey should decline his peerage due to a lockdown party for staff during his unsuccessful mayoral bid in London. The party, which took place in 2020, violated the ban on indoor social events. Boris Johnson had nominated Bailey for a peerage. When asked about Bailey’s position, Ellwood emphasized the need for consideration, noting that there are significant questions that need to be addressed. The Mirror recently released footage of the event, showing Bailey’s campaign team violating COVID-19 restrictions.
The invitation to the party, titled “the Shaun Bailey for London Holiday Party,” asked guests to “jingle and mingle.” It was sent on behalf of Ben Mallet, a former aide to Boris Johnson. The gathering took place at the Tory HQ in London while indoor socializing was prohibited under Tier-2 restrictions. The Conservative Party disciplined four individuals involved in the event, without disclosing their names. Although Bailey is not seen in the footage, he previously apologized for attending the party. He expressed his disappointment upon hearing about the video and acknowledged his responsibility for the team’s actions.
Bailey has stated that the decision to accept his seat in the Lords will be determined by others. He sees it as a privilege and hopes to continue working for the benefit of the country and London. However, survivors of COVID-19 victims believe that those involved in the party should lose their honors. Matt Fowler, co-founder of a campaign group representing bereaved families, shared that witnessing the event is a distressing experience for many. The Metropolitan Police conducted an investigation after the initial image circulated but took no action against attendees. They are now reviewing the newly released video, which provides further context to the gathering.
Voluntarily resigning membership in the House of Lords is possible for life peers, but legislation is required to remove them. According to Hannah White from the Institute for Government think tank, retired peers would retain their titles. The Forfeiture Committee within the Cabinet Office has the power to recommend the removal of MBEs and OBEs following official investigations. The Liberal Democrats have called for an investigation into revoking all of Boris Johnson’s resignation honours, considering the attended party as a tarnishing factor. Housing Secretary Michael Gove, however, stated his belief that attendees retaining their awards should be the decision of the Prime Minister, with respect given to due process.