Fact Check-Clip of a British cabinet minister on a dancefloor is from the Conservative Party Conference
A video of Britain’s housing secretary hitting a crowded dancefloor was captured in October 2021 – but has been inaccurately shared as evidence of alleged lockdown parties at Downing Street.
The 34-second clip, which shows Michael Gove dancing to a karaoke version of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)’, has been watched 10,000 times on Facebook since Dec. 8 (here).
According to the user sharing the video, it has been “widely circulated in England”. He also asked: “Is this the party that never was?”
Britain’s government has faced questions and criticism over allegations that Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his staff at Downing Street attended parties during a period of strict COVID-19 restrictions last Christmas (here).
On Dec. 9, an advisor to Johnson quit after video footage surfaced of her laughing about a reported party at a time when tens of millions of people across Britain were banned from meeting family and friends, or even bidding farewell to dying relatives (here).
Johnson has said he has been assured that COVID-19 rules were not broken, while Downing Street has denied any parties took place.
The Facebook video of Gove dancing sheds no light on whether a lockdown party took place.
It was taken during the autumn’s Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, months after Christmas and after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in England (www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-57882029).
Gove, who is Britain’s secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, was spotted dancing with fellow Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat (here).
The clip was shared widely online and was later referenced by Johnson in his conference speech (see here).
Missing context. The video of Michael Gove dancing was taken in October 2021.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.