Partygate: Shaun Bailey resignation ‘inevitable’ over Christmas party, says Sadiq Khan

The London Assembly member was forced to apologise after a photo of him attending a party at Conservative headquarters in December 2020 appeared in the Mirror newspaper.

Former Tory mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey’s resignation from City Hall, is an “inevitability”, mayor Sadiq Khan has said.

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He has since quit his roles as chairman of the capital’s policing and economy committees.

Mr Bailey appeared publicly for the first time today (Thursday, January 20) at the new City Hall building, in the Royal Docks, in Newham, after keeping a low profile for several weeks.

During a mayor’s question time session, he was criticised for attending the event, and called on to apologise for bringing the assembly into “disrepute” - which he has so far declined to do.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “The assembly member pictured at a party on December 14, 2020, stood down as chairman of the policing committee on December 14, 2021 - exactly a year later and only when his picture appeared in a national newspaper.

“He continued to chair the committee responsible for scrutinising the work of the Met Police for a full year after he broke a law established to protect us against a deadly pandemic.

“We’ve now seen him step down as chair of the economy committee and until today vanish from this chamber. His resignation as an assembly member must surely now be an inevitability.

“Londoners deserve much better representatives than that.”

The Labour mayor added: “It is of the utmost importance that everyone in public life meets the highest standards of propriety. Rules and laws must be followed by everyone but those elected to public office agave an additional responsibility to set the best example.

“When Londoners see elected representatives flouting the rules it undermines public confidence in the democratic process.

“Now we know members of the party of the government were flouting the laws they themselves established. They were laughing about it and it felt like they were laughing at us.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. Credit: Lia Toby/Getty Images for BFI

“We’ve heard mealy mouthed apologies from those who were caught out. We might ask why these were only forthcoming when the photos and emails appeared in the papers.”

His comments came in response to a question on standards in public life from Labour AM Len Duvall OBE, who also said Mr Bailey’s actions were bringing City Hall into “disrepute”, and said the monitoring officer’s decision not to call him to account was “questionable”.

And Mr Khan added that he knew how “angry” NHS workers were at “the behaviour of Shaun Bailey which we saw in the newspapers and his failure to apologise today when offered the chance to do so”.

Following a vote, assembly members voted to pass a motion, agreeing that “the cumulative effect of law breaking, apparent lies, and hypocrisy of those in positions of power make it harder for us to ask Londoners to follow regulations”.

Labour AM Len Duvall, who proposed the amended motion, said: “The mayor, as police and crime commissioner, has promoted adherence to rules and regulations throughout this time of national crisis.

“It is vital that all in public office support this endeavour.”

And Green AM Caroline Russell added: “So many Londoners made huge, life and death sacrifices during the pandemic and we join with the mayor in urging all Londoners to adhere to the rules, including those in public office.”

The full motion read: “We recognise that the mayor has an important role as police and crime commissioner in promoting and implementing the Government’s Covid regulations and indeed that everyone in the public eye has a role in leading by example.

“We note in the mayor’s answers today that Londoners made huge sacrifices during this pandemic and that the cumulative effect of law breaking, apparent lies, and hypocrisy of those in positions of power make it harder for us to ask Londoners to follow regulations.

This assembly shares those concerns, including in relation to the actions of those in Downing Street, and indeed a member of this assembly. We urge all Londoners, including all elected politicians, to do the right thing, lead by example and adhere to the law.”

But before taking the vote, assembly members agreed to remove Mr Bailey’s name from the wording - and he then refused to answer questions from reporters outside City Hall.

Shaun Bailey has been approached for comment by LondonWorld.