It’s a novel development that will require intense scientific study when a hangover from a Christmas party appears a full year later.
Boris Johnson took his seat in the House of Commons with his normal look of a man who has had one too many the night before and the Conservative benches knew what was coming, a barrage of questions from those across the floor who felt they have been taken for a year long sleigh ride over Covid regulations.
That government ministers had stayed in the shadows all morning, declining interviews, spoke volumes for the trouble they know they are in.
At least they demonstrated they have finally got to grips with the concept of social distancing - stay as far away from other people as you can possibly get.
But they turned up in the House of Commons, as uncomfortable as their seats in the chamber may have felt. There was no grand entrance to the tune of Pink’s hit ‘Get The Party Started’. The Beastie Boys’ ‘Fight For You Right To Party’ was, sadly, missing too.
Armed with his defence, the Prime Minister straight batted everything thrown in his direction. No more, it seems, than a tactic to buy time to allow everyone to get their stories straight. We all know what it’s like after a party - sometimes you just can’t remember what you got up to.
Footage of Downing Street aides laughing about how to respond to questions about the Downing Street ‘party’, taken four days after the gathering was supposed to have happened, has now been watched millions of times.
It’s leading the national news bulletins. Even Ant and Dec are milking it on I’m A Celebrity with their ‘Evening Prime Minister’. Naughty boys.
Still Boris Johnson, as he rose up from his slumped head to the floor position, stood there like a modern day Leslie Nielsen as Lieutenant Frank Drebin, shaking his head saying ‘nothing to see here’ as the government imploded behind him. But the Naked Gun is smoking.
There was no party, no mistletoe and wine and a wee slice of cheese, the Prime Minister maintained. No Covid rules were broken. He did, though, say sorry for the impression given by the leaked video that poured fuel onto the fire.
“I understand and share the anger at seeing No 10 staff seeming to make light of lockdown measures,” he said.
“I was also furious to see that clip. I apologise unreservedly for the offence that it gave up and down the country.”
EXCLUSIVE: Video obtained by ITV News shows Downing Street staff joking about a Christmas party on 18th December last year.— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) December 7, 2021
No 10 has spent the past week denying any rules were broken. This new evidence calls that into question. pic.twitter.com/nKYK0tG0dQ
Furious that he wasn’t invited? Furious that he has been taken for a fool along with the rest of the country that weren’t dreaming of a Zoom Christmas they had to suffer? Furious that there now needs to be scurrying around the back corridors to find out who let the secret slip?
You do wonder what else has been kept hidden from Mr Johnson’s eyes these past 12 months.
Despite saying he has been repeatedly assured there was no party and no Covid rules were broken, it seems like he’s trying to find out.
The cabinet secretary has been tasked to establish all the facts and to report back as soon as possible.
“If rules have been broken, there will be disciplinary action for all those involved,” the PM said. But why investigate if he already knows there’s nothing to investigate? It’s all about impressions, but very few will be impressed.
All through Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Johnson accused Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer of trying to muddy the waters. They appear murky enough already.
While the leader of the opposition fell short of calling for resignations, leaving that to the SNP’s Ian Blackford, it perhaps hit Mr Johnson harder when he was reminded by Mr Starmer of the image of the Queen sitting alone at the funeral of her husband Prince Philip.
Mentioned too, hidden among the Christmas decorations, was a possible party on Friday, November 13 in the Prime Minister’s personal flat above Number 10.
Perhaps that one was such a blast it meant the missus really did need that expensive redecoration.
Lost amongst the recriminations, it appears the government is ready to increase Covid restrictions in the run up to Christmas.
Perhaps extra guidance on who those restrictions will actually apply to will be needed too.
It’s all turned a little bit Nightmare Before Christmas and house parties are never a great idea - there’s always so much of a mess to clean up the morning after.
Today would have been a good day to phone in sick for work at Downing Street. Around 40 staff will also be wishing they’d stayed Home Alone last year too.
Then Sir Jeffrey Donaldson played party pooper and deflated the mood as he diverted the Prime Minister to a question on the latest issues over the NI Protocol. Bah Humbug.