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Iran issues diplomatic protest over ‘absurd’ accusation of US election meddling - rt

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metro
MPs did break 10pm curfew but Matt Hancock denies being among them

MPs did break 10pm curfew but Matt Hancock denies being among them

metro - 4 days ago
Matt Hancock denies breaking 10pm curfew
Matt Hancock says he was in the bar at 9.40pm but left after taking part in a vote

An official inquiry has concluded some MPs did stay up late drinking in the Commons bar past the 10pm curfew – but none of them have been named. 

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock is coming under increasing pressure after the Mail on Sunday reported a source is sticking by their story that he was one of the rule-breakers. 

Claims that the politicians stayed in the MP-only ‘Smoking Room’ bar beyond the enforced closure time on Monday, October 5 were investigated by the Commons 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 does seem there were drinks being consumed after 10pm on that Monday night in the Smoking Room.

Visit our live blog for the latest updates Coronavirus news live

Mr Hancocks spokesman previously said the Health Secretary was in the bar that night but claimed ‘no rules have been broken. He said Mr Hancock ‘departed the parliamentary estate to go home’ after taking part in a Commons vote at 9.40pm.

But some claim Mr Hancock was back in the bar after the vote and stayed as late as 10.25pm when his own rules state all venues that sell alcohol should be empty of customers by 10pm.

The MoS say they have asked the spokesman 30 times to clear up whether his boss was back in the bar but received no answer. Meanwhile the original source for the story has said: ‘I stand 100 per cent by my story. I know what I saw, and when.’

While he was in the bar, Mr Hancock was heard making jokes about the saga in which 16,000 tests were missed out of the official figures because of an Excel error – something which has not been denied by his spokesman. 

The Members' Smoking Room in the House of Commons in a picture taken from The Palace of Westminster: Houses of Parliament, Sir Robert Cooke (published by Macmillan).
The Smoking Room in the House of Commons

He apparently said: ‘The drinks are on me but Public Health England are in charge of the payment methodology so I will not be paying anything.

Alcohol sales have now been banned across the House of Commons by the speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle. 

Before this signs were put up in the Commons bars reinforcing the rule that last orders is at 9.45pm and no drinking should take place after 10pm. 

Outlets are allowed to sell food to those working late, in line with the Government regulations about workplace canteens. 

Mr Walker – who conducted the inquiry – has resisted calls to name the MPs found breaking the rules, saying it would have been ‘invidious’ to ask staff to do so.

However, Sir Alistair Graham former chairman of the Committee on Standards In Public Life tole the Mail on Sunday: ‘I don’t know that should be so. If they are trying to apply rules in a rigorous way, why shouldn’t they ask the staff which MPs they were serving?’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

sauce: metro
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