Boris Johnson struggling to keep his job after reports of another pandemic party

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Britain’s Boris Johnson was struggling to keep up his job on Monday after his office said his 2020 birthday was marked by a meeting at 10 Downing Street, adding fuel to an investigation into government parties during the VOCID-19 blockades. .

Johnson, who won the largest Conservative majority in more than 30 years in 2019, faces a series of accusations he and his staff made during the pandemic, as well as a complaint of racist discrimination in his party.

The allegation of celebrating the anniversary comes just days before an official investigation is released by Sue Gray’s Cabinet Office into the confinement festivities later this week.

ITV News said up to 30 people attended the June 2020 anniversary event during the first COVID blockade at 10 Downing Street, Johnson’s office and residence in central London. Social gatherings inside were then banned.

The prime minister is believed to have received a cake while his wife was leading the staff in a heartbeat Happy Birthday, he said.

Explanations and apologies

Johnson’s office argued that it was a party, and told ITV: “A group of staff working at No. 10 that day met briefly in the Cabinet Room after a meeting to wish a happy birthday to the Prime Minister “.

“He was there less than 10 minutes,” he said.

ITV said there was another meeting on Downing Street the night before his birthday. Johnson’s office said this was “totally false.”

Johnson has given several explanations for previous party allegations: he first said no rules had been broken, but then apologized to the British people for the apparent hypocrisy of those meetings.

Police officers guarding Downing Street have been interviewed by Gray and have given “extremely convicting” evidence, the Telegraph reported, citing an unidentified source.

“Johnson has completely lost his authority,” wrote Nick Timothy, who served as Downing Street chief of staff to Johnson’s Conservative predecessor Theresa May in the Telegraph.

“The collapse of Johnson’s authority is causing widespread political dysfunction and an additional danger to conservatives,” he said. “Johnson is no longer popular, he is no longer powerful.”

Johnson has denied the allegation that he was told that a “bring your own drink” confinement meeting on May 20, 2020, which he says he thought was a work event, was inappropriate.

Former chief executive Dominic Cummings, now a staunch critic, said Monday he was answering Gray’s questions in writing.

Overthrowing Johnson would leave Britain in limbo for months, just as the West faces the Ukraine crisis and the world’s fifth-largest economy struggles with a wave of inflation once and for all in a generation.

To provoke a leadership challenge, 54 of the 359 Conservative MPs in Parliament must submit letters of censure.

Major rivals in the Conservative Party include Finance Chancellor Rishi Sunak, 41, and Foreign Minister Liz Truss, 46.

Reporting discrimination

Johnson on Monday ordered an investigation into allegations by a lawmaker who said she was fired from a ministerial job in government, in part because her Muslim faith made her colleagues uncomfortable.

Nusrat Ghani, 49, who lost his job as junior transport minister in February 2020, told the Sunday Times that a party whip had told him his “Muslimity” had been raised as a problem in his dismissal.

Government leader Mark Spencer said he was the person at the center of Ghani’s allegations. He said they were completely false and defamatory.

“I’ve never used those words that are attributed to me,” he said.

British MP Nusrat Ghani is seen during a sitting in Parliament in London on May 12, 2021. Ghani says she was fired from her job as a junior minister in part because her Muslim faith made her peers uncomfortable. (Parliament of the United Kingdom / Jessica Taylor / Brochure via REUTERS)

Johnson met with Ghani to discuss “extremely serious” allegations in July 2020, a spokesman for the prime minister’s office said on Sunday.

Downing Street said that when the allegations were first made, Johnson recommended that he make a formal complaint to the Conservative campaign headquarters.

“She didn’t accept that offer,” Downing Street said.

Ghani’s accusation came after one of his Conservative colleagues said he would meet with police to discuss allegations that government whips had attempted to “blackmail” lawmakers suspected of trying to force Johnson to leave. charge.

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