Tuesday, 6 Dec 2022

Protestors demand Line of Duty style investigation of Downing Street

Protestors demand the Met investigate Downing Street Christmas parties by screening spoof Line of Duty video outside Scotland Yard with a voiceover sounding VERY like show’s star Adrian Dunbar

  • The spoof screening was made by political campaign group Led By Donkeys
  • It featured a voiceover sounding very similar to Line of Duty’s Adrian Dunbar 
  • He questions the Metropolitan Police on their investigation into alleged parties
  • Dunbar played anti-corruption officer Superintendent Ted Hastings in the show 

Protestors demanded the Metropolitan Police investigated the Downing Street parties from December last year by screening a spoof Line of Duty video outside Scotland Yard with a voiceover sounding very much like the show’s star Adrian Dunbar. 

Political campaign group Led By Donkeys turned up outside the police force’s headquarters with a large LED screen yesterday questioning police over their response to the alleged event.

Downing Street is accused of holding four parties that broke Covid restrictions last year, including a quiz attended by dozens of staff and which the Prime Minister helped to host on December 15 – three days before another Christmas party which is being investigated. 

The Metropolitan Police today said it has received a ‘significant amount of correspondence relating to allegations’ that the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations were breached at Downing Street in November and December 2020.

A video, posted by Led By Donkeys on Wednesday and retweeted by Dunbar’s co-star Martin Compston, shows the large screen brandishing LBD-12, standing for Led By Donkeys, in the same style as the BBC hit drama’s AC-12 logo.

Protestors demanded the Metropolitan Police investigated the Downing Street parties from December last year by screening a spoof Line of Duty video outside Scotland Yard with a voiceover sounding very much like the show’s star Adrian Dunbar

A video, posted by Led By Donkeys on Wednesday and retweeted by Dunbar’s co-star Martin Compston, shows the large screen brandishing LBD-12, standing for Led By Donkeys, in the same style as the BBC hit drama’s AC-12 logo

A voice, which sounds like Adrian Dunbar, who plays anti-corruption officer Superintendent Ted Hastings in the show, can be heard saying: ‘Ma’am, I must protest.

‘Last week senior officers who work in this building issued a statement declaring they will not be investigating the unlawful Christmas party held in Downing Street last year.’

An image of Dame Cressida Dick, head of the Metropolitan Police, then appears on the screen as the voice continues: ‘The statement claimed a criminal inquiry is not possible because there is “an absence of evidence”.

‘Correct me if I am wrong here ma’am, but the whole purpose of a police inquiry is to gather evidence.

‘But because your officers are unwilling to get off their backsides and find it, my team is bringing that evidence direct to Scotland Yard.’

Adrian Dunbar appears in the hit BBC show Line of Duty as anti-corruption officer Superintendent Ted Hastings

Dunbar’s Line of Duty co-star Martin Compston (pictured playing Detective Inspector Steve Arnott) appeared to show support for the Led By Donkeys campaign by retweeting the spoof video 

Dunbar has previously shown support for Ireland’s Sinn Fein party, while the creator of Line of Duty, Jed Mercurio, recently poked fun at Boris Johnson after a picture of the Prime Minister dressed in police uniform.

‘Thank you for submitting your audition for the next series of Line of Duty but we’re looking for a character with at least one redeeming moral principle and a performance that places even just a scintilla of doubt in the audience’s mind that he might not be totally bent,’ Mercurio wrote on his Twitter page after the picture emerged of Mr Johnson observing an early morning raid in Liverpool.

The spoof video outside Scotland Yard also highlights the Covid restriction rules as they were in December 2020 – the same month Downing Street is alleged to have held four events that broke Covid restrictions, including a staff party on December 18.

A voice, which sounds like Adrian Dunbar, who plays anti-corruption officer Superintendent Ted Hastings in the show, can be heard saying: ‘Ma’am, I must protest. Last week senior officers who work in this building issued a statement declaring they will not be investigating the unlawful Christmas party held in Downing Street last year’

The video was played on a large LED screen outside Scotland Yard, the Metropolitan Police’s headquarters, on Wednesday 

The video included a claim from one witness to the alleged party that said ‘everyone was packed shoulder to shoulder’

No10 previously insisted that Downing Street staff were ‘often required to be in the office to work on the pandemic response’ during the various lockdowns, and therefore ‘those who were in the office for work may have attended virtually from their desks’.

The rules at the time stated that no person was permitted to gather in a Tier 3 area which consists of two or more people and takes place in any indoor space. London was in Tier 3 at the time of the alleged party.

The video also points to Government advice which, at the time, stated people ‘must not have a work Christmas lunch or party, where that is primarily social activity’.

It then refers to a wedding, that took place a day before the alleged party, which Metropolitan Police officers shut down because 40 people were in attendance.

The Adrian Dunbar-style voiceover continues: ‘The officers working in this building released a statement saying “Holding large gatherings could be the difference between and death for someone else”.’

The protest group then showcase a copy of an email they claim was a party invitation and included invitees that did not work in Downing Street.

They claim that one witness said ‘everyone was packed shoulder to shoulder’.

The clip also shows Allegra Stratton, who has since resigned over leaked footage showing her at a mock press conference joking about a Christmas party.

The voice continues: ‘You would do well to remember that the numerous people not employed at No10, who reportedly attended the party, would only have gained access to it by coming to the gates of Downing Street and giving their names to a Metropolitan Police Officer.

‘Who does the Metropolitan Police work for, Ma’am?

‘Our citizens?

‘Or Boris Johnson?’ 

The Metropolitan Police refused to comment on the Led By Donkeys campaign outside their HQ.

However, they issued a statement in response to complaints they have received about the alleged parties at Downing Street last year.

A spokesperson today said: ‘The Metropolitan Police Service has received a significant amount of correspondence relating to allegations reported in the media that the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations were breached at gatherings at No. 10 Downing Street in November and December 2020.

‘All this correspondence has been considered by detectives in detail, as well as footage published by ITV News.

‘The correspondence and footage does not provide evidence of a breach of the Health Protection Regulations, but restates allegations made in the media.

‘Based on the absence of evidence and in line with our policy not to investigate retrospective breaches of such Regulations, the Met will not commence an investigation at this time.

‘The Met has had discussions with the Cabinet Office in relation to the investigation by the Cabinet Secretary.

‘If any evidence is found as a result of that investigation, it will be passed to the Met for further consideration.’ 

The activism group posted the video to their Twitter last night where it has already attracted more than three million views.

More than 60,000 Twitter users have re-shared it and thousands have left comments.

Even Line-of-Duty star Martin Compston showed his support for the campaign by retweeting the post.

@sdnpb-norman said: ‘I’m a retired Met officer and this made me cry with disgust at what they’ve become.’

@vampsinthe said: ‘If AC12 investigated bent politicians instead of police officers, there would be material for 10 series on the Tory front bench alone.’

@SmileTolula said: ‘Most images that are getting leaked are damn right upsetting for all those who lost loved ones, or went to a funeral that only allowed limited numbers.

‘Seeing this photo [Downing street staff allegedly at the party] and hearing nothing will be done is absolute mockery to the people.

‘@BorisJohnson take action.’

@chipk0 added: ‘The criminal investigation will soon have to involve the defendants.

‘@metpoliceuk this is a point in our history that goes one of two ways; the democratic way or the authoritarian way.

‘The future of this country is now decided by Cressida, her actions will make history.’

Led By Donkeys said: ‘We can neither confirm or deny that Adrian Dunbar is a member of our investigations team.’ 

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