Chris James, a one-time BBC newsreader turned production company chief, brought in by the Government for three months last November to ensure the smooth launch of Boris Johnson's £2.6million media briefing room

Chris James, a one-time BBC newsreader turned production company chief, brought in by the Government for three months last November to ensure the smooth launch of Boris Johnson’s £2.6million media briefing room

The No. 10 investigation into the leak of the video from Christmas Party that demolished Allegra Stratton’s home and caused chaos for Prime Minister may lead to an expert in TV who was working at Downing Street during the same time. This claim is made today. 

Chris James, a one-time BBC newsreader turned production company chief, was brought in by the Government for three months last November to ensure the smooth launch of Boris Johnson’s £2.6million media briefing room, it has been reported.

According to The Daily Telegraph, he may be the whistleblower or know someone who has access or leaked information the 40-second-long damning exchange from December 22 2020 that led to Miss Stratton’s tearful resignation yesterday.  

The Bombshell film has had serious political consequences for the Prime Minister and cost Miss Stratton her job after she laughed when pressed by a fellow aide, Ed Oldfield, about ‘reports’ that there was a Christmas party in Downing Street the previous Friday. 

The story was broken on Tuesday night by the UK editor of ITV News, Paul Brand, who in March unearthed the first pictures from inside the new 9 Downing Street media suite. 

This exclusive was also brought in by a young producer Nathan Lee, who tweeted at the time: ‘EXCLUSIVE: @itvnews can reveal the new £2.6m Downing Street studio for new White House style press briefings.’ The story was also written by him on ITV News.

The Daily Telegraph reports that after graduating in 2017 he went to work for Made Television Ltd, where Chris James was the channel manager before promotion to network head of editorial. The paper reported last year that Mr James was sent to Downing Street by Allegra Ston for technical knowledge and assistance. He also helped set up the place now used for Prime Minister David Cameron’s covid press conferences.

In the three months that James spent there, he proudly posed at Number 10, and uploaded it to Instagram.  

According to The Telegraph,Weak suspicions are being placed on Mr James, who is believed to be the whistleblower. 

MailOnline reached out to ITN for comments, but an insider from the broadcaster stated that the leaked information was too implausible to believe Mr Lee was involved.  Mister James was also approached, but he has yet to reply. 

Nathan Lee, who works for ITN, has links to the man brought into No 10 to support Allegra Stratton and the production standards in the No 9 press room

Nathan Lee is an ITN employee and has contacts to the man that was sent into No 10, to support Allegra Stratton. He also supports the production standards of the No 9 press conference room.

An intense manhunt is under way to uncover how the secret footage, filmed within the Downing Street complex, has become the subject of a leak.  Within 24 hours of its broadcast, the toxic footage led to the tearful resignation of its 'star' Allegra Stratton

The Downing Street compound has been the focus of an intense investigation.  Within 24 hours of its broadcast, the toxic footage led to the tearful resignation of its ‘star’ Allegra Stratton

Cummings drags CARRIE in partygate. Ex-No10 chief: Probe must focus on gatherings at PM’s flat, attended by his wife. Official investigation focuses only on two OTHER Downing Street bashes – with aide from famous video blanks. 

Dominic Cummings today drag Carrie Johnson in the ongoing ‘partygate” row, demanding that the Cabinet Secret investigate an alleged gathering at PM’s grace and favour flat. 

Boris Johnson said yesterday that Simon Case is the top civil servant and will examine claims about a lockdown busting party at No10 Christmas last year.

It is expected that the probe will also cover a leaving party on November 27, last year. Mr Johnson is alleged to have delivered a speech and a Department for Education drink do.

After Lee Cain and Mr Cummings were eliminated in a power struggle, Mr Cummings maintained that another alleged party be placed at the center of the probe. Mrs Johnson had just given birth to her 2nd child.

Advisor said that the leaving event, thought to be for Cleo Watson (a Vote Leave friend) was just someone “walking in to the press office to bid bye” before the PM’s ‘bumbled into a started talking’. 

He declared that “the focus would be an actual party in PM’s flat on Fri 13/11” 

It is claimed that Mrs Johnson’s friends attended the event, but Downing Street as well as her spokesperson have refuted this claim.


Suspicion fell initially on Miss Stratton’s enemies in government. This former TV journalist is a respected figure in No10; many of her close aides feel she was treated unfairly by the PM when he decided to end the televised briefings which he requested that she front.

She was however a fierce foe to Dominic Cummings’ former press chief Lee Cain. They were both her ex-press chiefs, which she helped remove from office in the last year.

‘You couldn’t help but wonder whether Dom had a hand in it in some way,’ one source said. ‘He has the motive – the leak damages the PM and he loathes Allegra.

‘But he had gone by the time that video was filmed and has no real allies inside the building any more. He could have had it. It’s possible.’

The 40-second TV clip from Downing Street was never meant for public consumption – and with good reason.

The toxic video of the No. 10 staff talking about their lockdown-busting activities led to Allegra Straton’s tears as she resigned from her position.

This prompted an immediate search for the leaker. Boris Johnson might have been inspired to speed-track plans for stricter Covid restrictions by passing the film to ITV News.

Downing Street spent week denial that staff held a drunken Christmas party in December last year, with Secret Santa games, nibbles and other treats, when such gatherings were banned.

The leaked footage appeared to prove not only that the party had taken place – but suggested officials thought it was funny.

The video showed Miss Stratton holding a mock conference to prepare for her first televised daily briefing as PM’s press secretary.

Ed Oldfield is a son of a prominent Tory donor and asked his fellow adviser to comment on Twitter rumors of a party at No 10. Also, if Mr Johnson would approve of other Christmas events.

Miss Stratton, a bit flustered, laughed and stated that she ‘went home’ the night before asking: What’s your answer?

A second aide said it wasn’t a party, but only wine and cheese.

No 10 staffers in the new £2.6million briefing room then laughed as Miss Stratton tried to press on, suggesting it was a ‘business meeting’.

An intense search is underway to discover how the secret footage, which was filmed in the Downing Street compound, became the subject of a leak. 

Some have accused Miss Stratton, from No 10, of giving a brutal briefing about the PM to BBC last month.

It showed Miss Stratton holding a mock press conference in preparation for her role as the first PM's press secretary to hold daily televised briefings

This video featured Miss Stratton in a mock press conference, her preparations for being the PM’s first press secretary. She held daily televised briefings.

No 10 staffers in the new £2.6million briefing room then laughed as Miss Stratton tried to press on, suggesting it was a 'business meeting'

No 10 staffers in the new £2.6million briefing room then laughed as Miss Stratton tried to press on, suggesting it was a ‘business meeting’

Which parties are the Government said to have hosted last year, and at what time? 


November 13, 2009 Dominic Cummings claims that the PM hosted a party at his grace and favour flat on the 13th of November last year. This was the same day as the advisor’s departure from Downing Street. Cummings suggested that there were ‘other flat parties.    

November 27,: The Prime Minister reportedly gave a speech at a packed Number 10 leaving do for a ‘senior aide’. According to sources, there were reportedly 40-50 people present.

December 18, 2008 Downing Street staff are reported to have hosted a Christmas party. Reports claim that many people were there in festive jumpers, exchanging Secret Santa gifts, and some even wore festive sweaters. London was put into Tier 3 restriction on 16 December. These restrictions, which ban people living in different houses from mixing inside each other’s homes, were the strongest level of restraints on freedoms. Boris Johnson was not present at the event, according to Downing Street.  

Also, DecemberSources tell BBC that the BBC was told by sources that there was a Christmas quiz for staff number 10. Everybody was invited to participate and form teams. Sources claim that some attended via Zoom, but other people were present in person. Downing Street insists that the quiz was “virtual”. 


December 10, 2009 Gavin Williamson, then-education secretary hosted a Department for Education party for up to 24 people on December 10. It included food, drink and entertainment in the canteen of the department. The department has admitted the event happened.  

December 14,Around 25 people met in the basement office of the Matthew Parker St office in Westminster. The Times reports that last night, advisers from Conservative campaign headquarters hosted an event with Shaun Bailey who was the unsuccessful candidate of London mayor.  

The source claimed that he was speaking on the same day as his disastrous speech to CBI. In which he discussed Peppa Pig in detail, the source explained: “It just isn’t working.” The Cabinet must wake up to demand real changes or it will only get worse. He won’t act if they refuse to insist.

Miss Stratton strenuously denies being the so-called Chatty Pig’ that briefed BBC.

Many initially believed that her leakage of the mock conference was a misguided attempt at causing her harm and forcing her to leave.

The small group of employed hands that transformed the 9 Downing Street former privy courtroom into a media room quickly attracted attention.

According to one source, the footage was deleted. Another suggested the clip might have been taken from a television monitor.

‘If you look closely, you can see there is something weird about the aspect ratio – the picture looks squashed. It isn’t from an official camera – it’s someone filming it privately, maybe off one of the monitors. This looks as if someone had just kept a copy.

Many contractors were connected to ITV News where the leak surfaced. According to another source, Miss Stratton was routinely filmed by a freelancer using his iPad.

According to the source, it was discovered that the contractor had the footage even though he was gone earlier in the year. He also added: “Allegra was very worried about it.”

Stephen Gaisford (a communications specialist from Grit), denied that the footage was leaked.

He said that he was not impressed by No. 10’s Covid rules and believed he contracted the virus there.

He said that he was happy with the video leak and added: “It opens up a wider discussion about behavior during this period, as well as the Government’s accountability to the people in this country.

“It doesn’t matter if a party was held. It is about whether the people who set the rules follow them. As I entered Downing Street’s front doors, I found people who were not wearing masks.

“I could not see any social distancing.”

According to an industry source, it is equally likely that the leak started in No 10.

‘The video footage from these sessions was sent to nine people on email – that includes No 10 press people, staff from the events team and civil servants,’ the source said. A second insider said: “We shouldn’t have built that media space. It is cursed.

Yesterday, Mr Johnson reiterated his belief that Downing Street has not broken any rules.