'Disgusted' - Fakenham pubs react to alleged lockdown-busting party

Pub owners in Fakenham have shared their views over an alleged lockdown-busting Downing Street Christmas part

Pub owners in Fakenham have shared their views over an alleged lockdown-busting Downing Street Christmas party, whilst they were forced to close their doors. - Credit: DENISE BRADLE/Aaron McMillan

Pubs in Fakenham have shared their disgust over an alleged lockdown-busting Downing Street Christmas party, while they were forced to close their doors.

Boris Johnson has come under fire over an alleged Covid rule-breaking gathering in Downing Street which was said to have been attended by dozens of colleagues while social mixing indoors was banned under Tier 3 restrictions last December.

In footage obtained by ITV News, Boris Johnson's then-press secretary Allegra Stratton and adviser Ed Oldfield, along with other aides, were filmed joking about a “fictional” Downing Street party in December 2020.

It is no laughing matter for pubs in Fakenham, who last Christmas were facing a new national lockdown, barring us all from our locals.

The landlord of The Crown in Fakenham, Alie Hannam.

The landlord of The Crown in Fakenham, Alie Hannam. - Credit: DENISE BRADLE

Alie Hannam, owner of The Crown, was outraged by the footage: “I’m really disgusted.

“I have followed all the rules 110pc because that was what I was told to do. I turned away Christmas parties because I wasn’t allowed to have them.

"I asked the Environmental health officer if I was allowed business meetings, but was told ‘no’.

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“When people weren’t allowed to visit loved ones in hospital when they were dying or pensioners in nursing homes that have gone months without seeing family, and not understanding the full extent of what was going on. The prime minister and his staff were having a ‘jolly’ in Downing Street.

“I'm totally disgusted.”

The Crown in Fakenham dates back to the 15th century. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Crown in Fakenham dates back to the 15th century. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

Ms Hannam said last year she lost £132,000 as a result of the lockdown.

However, she would still follow any future restrictions because she values her customers and license.

When it comes to punishment, she said: “The same as what would have happened to me.

“I would have lost my licence, my business and so would have all my staff, they would have lost their jobs."

Owner of Fakenham Conservative Club, Jimmy Hood.

Owner of Fakenham Conservative Club, Jimmy Hood. - Credit: Aaron McMillan

Jimmy Hood, owner of Fakenham Conservative Club said punters were questioning the double standard.

“When I first heard about it, I thought, this is not good,” he said.

“I had people say to me today, ‘if they could have had a party, then so should we'.

Fakenham Conservative Club

Fakenham Conservative Club - Credit: Archant

“I dont know what punishment they get. If I got caught selling beer, I would have to pay a fine for doing that."

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