Shaun Bailey quits as crime committee chair after lockdown party revelation

The Conservatives' Shaun Bailey speaks after Labour's Sadiq Khan was declared as the next mayor of L

Shaun Bailey has apologised after attending a gathering held by his mayoral campaign staff last December - Credit: PA/Victoria Jones

Harold Hill politician Shaun Bailey has resigned as chair of a London Assembly committee after a leaked photograph appeared to show him at a party last December when London was in lockdown. 

The former London mayoral candidate ran unsuccessfully to defeat current mayor Sadiq Khan earlier this year.

Mr Bailey will no longer head the assembly's police and crime committee, which scrutinises the work of the Metropolitan Police including its policing of Covid-19 restrictions. 

Last week, the Conservative Party revealed that four members of Mr Bailey’s mayoral campaign team had been disciplined for holding an “unauthorised social gathering” at the party’s headquarters on December 14 last year while household mixing was banned. 

A spokesperson for Mr Bailey’s mayoral campaign team said that the party was a “serious error of judgement” and that “we fully accept that gathering like this at that time was wrong”. 

Mr Bailey's resignation came after the Mirror published a photograph that appeared to show him alongside dozens of staff members at the party. 

A spokesperson for the Greater London Assembly (GLA) Conservatives said: “Shaun Bailey AM has today stood aside as chairman of the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee. 

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“He does not want an unauthorised social gathering involving some former members of the London mayoral campaign team last December to distract from the committee’s important work holding the Mayor of London to account.” 

According to GLA Conservatives, Mr Bailey is not commenting on the matter but he has now posted an apology on his Twitter account.

He wrote: "I want to apologise unreservedly for attending a gathering held by some of my staff in my campaign office last December.

"I gave a speech to my team to thank them for their efforts, before leaving shortly afterwards.

"It was a serious error of judgement at a time when Londoners were making immense sacrifices to keep us all safe and I regret it wholeheartedly."

Days after the party took place and London was moved into stricter Tier 4 restrictions, Mr Bailey tweeted that the new restrictions were “tough on every Londoner” and that “my family has had to cancel plans and I’m sure yours has too”. 

It is understood that Mr Bailey will continue to serve as both a member of the London Assembly and a member of the committee.