Prime Minister’s press chief Jack Doyle allegedly addressed staff at Downing Street Christmas party

Downing Street’s press chief Jack Doyle made a speech and handed out awards at a Christmas gathering last year, according to reports.

Mr Doyle, who was deputy director of communications at No 10 at the time, addressed up to 50 people at the gathering, which is said to have taken place on December 18, according to ITV News.

It is understood that Mr Doyle, who now Downing Street’s director of communications, spoke to the press office to thank them for their work, as he did every week, and presented some awards to mark the team’s efforts.

It comes after the Prime Minister announced that an internal investigation would look into reports of a staff gathering held at Downing Street on that date.

Downing Street told the BBC: “There is an ongoing review, and we won’t be commenting further while that is the case”.

After the latest claims emerged, Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said the inquiry “has been exposed as a sham”.

Ms Rayner said: “As more details emerge about the Downing Street Christmas party, the Government’s internal investigation has been exposed as the sham it is. The investigation has only just published its terms of reference and we are already seeing more details from the media than the Cabinet Office about the parties.

The investigation into the alleged Christmas gatherings is being led by Cabinet Secretary Simon Case.

Alongside the alleged December 18 party, the review will look at a confirmed gathering at the Department for Education’s (DfE) Whitehall headquarters on December 10 last year, and a reported leaving event for a No 10 aide – allegedly attended by Boris Johnson – on November 27.

Additional reporting by PA.

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