An official investigation has concluded that some MPs stayed up late drinking at the Commons bar after the 10 a.m. ban, but none of them was mentioned.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock is now under increasing pressure to prove his whereabouts as a source continues to claim he was one of the violators, Sunday mail reports.
Allegations that politicians stayed in the Smoking Chamber premises only for the MP beyond the time of forced closure on Monday, October 5 were investigated by the Municipal Administration Committee.
Charles Walker, chairman of the committee, confirmed to the newspaper that some MPs broke the rules. He said: It happened and it should not have happened, it seems that drinks were being drunk after 22 o’clock that Monday evening in the Smoking Room.
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Mr Hancocks’ spokesman had earlier said he was at the bar early that night and claimed no rules had been broken. He said Mr Hancock left the parliamentary property to go home after taking part in a Municipal vote at 9.40pm.
But some claim Hancock was back in the bar after the vote and stayed until 10.25pm when his rules stipulate all places selling alcohol must be empty by customers by 10pm.
The original source of the story said: I stand 100 percent to my story. I know what I saw, and when. The Ministry of Health says they asked Hancocks spokesman 30 times to clarify if he was back at the bar but received no response.
Earlier that evening, Mr Hancock was heard joking about the saga in which 16,000 covid cases were lost from official figures due to an error in Excel something that has not been denied by his spokesman.
He apparently said: The drinks are with me but Public Health England is responsible for the payment methodology so I will not pay anything.
Alcohol sales are now banned across the House of Commons by speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle.
Before these signs are placed on Commons bars, reinforcing the rule that final orders are at 9.45pm and no drinks should be made after 10pm.
Points of sale are allowed to sell food to those who work late, in accordance with Government regulations for workplace canteens.
Mr Walker who conducted the investigation has resisted calls to name MPs who have broken the rules, saying it would be unbearable to ask staff to do so.
However, Sir Alistair Graham, former chairman of the Committee on Standards of Public Life, tolerates the Post on Sunday: I do not know it should be so. If they are trying to enforce the rules in a strict way, why not ask the staff which MPs they served?
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