Boris Johnson never ceases to get bogged down in the crisis. The services of the British Prime Minister apologized to Queen Elizabeth II on Friday January 14 following the revelations about the parties organized in Downing Street in full confinement and on the eve of the funeral of her husband, Philip.
“It is deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning and the 10 [Downing Street, adresse de la résidene officielle du premier ministre britannique] apologized to the palace « , said a spokesperson for the Conservative leader.
Friday, Tea Telegram revealed that on the evening of April 16, 2021, the day before Prince Philip’s funeral, two parties – which the prime minister did not attend – were held to mark the departure of two staff from the prime minister’s office: the communications director James Slack, since deputy editor of the tabloid The Sun, and a personal photographer from Boris Johnson.
The revelers, about thirty, had joined in the gardens of the official residence, according to the daily close to power. One person had been sent to a supermarket to buy bottles of wine which he brought back to Downing Street in a suitcase, he said.
At the time, indoor meetings were prohibited, as the British could only meet up to six outside.
« Unreserved » apologies
In a statement, James Slack also apologized « Without reserve for the anger and the pain caused ».
These new revelations extend an already long list of parties organized in circles of power during periods of confinement. They also highlight, according to witnesses quoted in the media, a real drink culture in Downing Street.
On Wednesday, in front of Parliament, the British Prime Minister presented his « apologies » and admitted having made an appearance at a rally in the gardens of Downing Street in full confinement.
Boris Johnson, however, argued during the weekly government questioning session that he then believed « Implicitly » it was a business meeting. In front of the deputies, he explained that he thought that the event respected the health rules then in force, assuming the » responsibility « from « Errors » that were committed.
Now very weak in the polls, which he has long skimmed over after his triumphant arrival to power in July 2019, he is fighting today to remain at the head of government.
Calls for Johnson’s resignation
« The Queen was sitting alone, in mourning, like so many at the time, affected by personal trauma and sacrifice, in order to follow the rules in the national interest », denounced on Twitter Angela Rayner, the deputy head of Labor, the main opposition formation.
The Queen sat alone in mourning like so many did at the time with personal trauma & sacrifice to keep to the rules… https://t.co/xyAUk7Mcxm
Very critical, several Conservative MPs, some of whom have so far been strong supporters, have joined the opposition in calling for Mr Johnson’s resignation.
Denouncing « A moral vacuum at the heart of government »Andrew Bridgen is the latest to send a letter of confidence to a powerful committee governing the parliamentary organization of the Conservative Party. If he receives enough, he will have to organize a new leadership race to replace the Prime Minister.
Foreign Minister Liz Truss, seen as a potential candidate for prime minister, said Friday supported him » 100 % « . Another potential challenger, his finance colleague, Rishi Sunak, was much more reserved.
But before drawing any possible consequences, Boris Johnson and his ministers repeat over and over again that it is advisable to wait, next week at best, for the conclusions of an internal investigation carried out by a senior official. Criticized for their wait-and-see policy, the London police have adopted the same line.
the Times said Friday that this investigation would not have found enough evidence of criminal offenses.
These holidays also anger the relatives of victims of Covid-19, which has killed more than 150,000 in the United Kingdom. The Bereaved Families for Justice association sees it as a « Total disdain for the public ».