Keywords

  • There were two drink parties at Johnson’s official residence.
  • Government employees allegedly held social events last year while Queen Elizabeth II grieved for her husband.
  • Following the release of the parties’ findings, Johnson’s office apologized to Elizabeth on Friday.

 

Lockdown-breaking parties

New reports suggest that allegations of additional lockdown-breaking parties at PM Boris Johnson’s Downing Street office are inflaming public outrage in the UK. Government employees allegedly held social events last year while Queen Elizabeth II grieved for her husband.  On Thursday, April 16, 2021, there were two drink parties at Johnson’s official residence. It was in violation of coronavirus regulations in effect at the time. According to the newspaper, Johnson was at his Chequers country estate on that day (Al Jazeera, 2022).

 

Unnamed Witnesses

The events reportedly drew around 30 people who enjoyed drinking and dancing. The events are said to have started in the Downing Street garden. It ended in the early hours of the morning. The next day, Elizabeth said her goodbyes to Prince Philip, who was 99 years old at the time. One of the most striking pictures of the UK under viral restrictions was of the monarch sitting alone in the chapel during her late husband’s memorial service. The Telegraph alleged, citing unnamed witnesses, that staff at the party went to a nearby store to fill a suitcase with booze, used a laptop to play music in the Downing Street basement, and smashed a swing used by the PM’s young son during their revelry.

 

Apology to the Palace

Britons were not allowed to socialize indoors at the time. However, only with the exception of individuals in their household or so-called support bubble. Outside, people could socialize in groups of up to six people or two houses of any size. Following the release of the parties’ findings, Johnson’s office apologized to Elizabeth on Friday. “It is profoundly sad that this occurred during a period of national sorrow, and No. 10 [Downing Street] has apologized to the Palace,” said the prime minister’s spokesman.

(Al Jazeera, 2022)

 

The PM is under increasing pressure

Johnson, who won a landslide election victory in 2019, is in the midst of the most serious crisis of his presidency, following a slew of scandals and reports of lockdown-breaking gatherings. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologized for attending a “bring your own booze” party at his official house in May 2020. British police have stated that they will not examine alleged Downing Street events until evidence of potential criminal charges is revealed during an ongoing internal government inquiry.

(Al Jazeera, 2022)

Opponents have called for Johnson’s resignation. They are portraying the 57-year-old as a fraud who demanded Britons observe some of the country’s harshest standards while he and his staff partied. A small but growing number of Conservative Party members have echoed those calls, fearing that it will harm the party’s electoral prospects in the long run. Johnson is giving a number of justifications for the parties. It even includes denials that any rules were broken in the past. He has recently acknowledged widespread outrage at his government’s apparent hypocrisy.

 

Bibliography

As Queen Mourned Alone, UK Gov’t Staff Held Parties: Report | Boris Johnson News | Al Jazeera. (202214, January 14). As queen mourned alone, UK gov’t staff held parties: Report | Boris Johnson News | Al Jazeera. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/1/14/uk-pms-staff-accused-of-more-rule-breaking-pandemic-parties.