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Archbishop of Canterbury ‘disappointed’ following alleged rule-breaking parties

Justin Welby has said it is ‘clearly essential’ that a culture of honesty should come from the Government.

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Justin Welby said a culture of honesty should come from the Government (Victoria Jones/PA)

Justin Welby said a culture of honesty should come from the Government (Victoria Jones/PA)

Justin Welby said a culture of honesty should come from the Government (Victoria Jones/PA)

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said he was “disappointed” to see a photograph of a party at Conservative headquarters in December last year.

On Tuesday, the Daily Mirror published a photograph showing former Tory London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey – who challenged Sadiq Khan in the election – with more than 20 other people wearing party hats or holding drinks.

Justin Welby said it is “clearly essential” that a culture of honesty should come from the Government amid a string of allegations about Covid rule-breaking parties held in Downing Street and elsewhere last year.

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Shaun Bailey was pictured at the party (Victoria Jones/PA)

Shaun Bailey was pictured at the party (Victoria Jones/PA)

PA

Shaun Bailey was pictured at the party (Victoria Jones/PA)

He told BBC Newscast: “First of all, obviously, we must obey the rules. Obviously, we must all obey the rules.

“Secondly, there’s an investigation going on. I won’t pre-judge that but we need to set an example.”

Mr Welby added: “On a human level, I, just disappointed, really. I make so many mistakes myself, I’m not a big one for throwing stones…

“I don’t really do much on judging people, but we must obey the rules. We have to depersonalise it, let’s get away from that example, and I’d say: ‘Obey the rules, stick to the rules.'”

The Tories previously admitted the party had taken place on December 14, when London was in Tier 2 restrictions and said that staff have been disciplined.

The rules meant that no mixing was allowed indoors apart from with your household or bubble.

Up to six people could meet outside in private gardens or public parks.

Asked if a culture of honesty should come from the top, Mr Welby added: “That is clearly essential. And isn’t it wonderful that we have such an extraordinary example at the top, of the Queen with her complete integrity in every possible way.”

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