British Prime Minister Johnson faces crisis as nation reacts to government parties held during VOCID blockades
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing a crisis in his country and government, as revelations by secret parties with government officials during the COVID-19 blockade rules continue to leak to the public.
Reports of a 2020 Christmas party erupted last week when The Daily Mirror reported that between 40 and 50 Johnson staff members met at least twice for the celebrations, while the rest of the country watched the strict blocking protocols imposed by the government. A source who claimed to be aware of the party described it as “a Covid nightmare”.
The British news channel ITV earlier this week reinforced this report when it published a behind-the-scenes leaked video of a government press conference rehearsal, during which officials joked about a “fictional party” that supposedly took place on December 18 last year. The second alleged party took place on November 27 to fire a colleague.
“This fictitious party was a business meeting and was not socially distant,” then-press secretary Allegra Stratton told a small group of reporters, joking “I went home” and “It was just cheese and wine. “.
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But the BBC previously reported that a party was taking place at the time, just two days after the Johnson administration banned most meetings inside two or more people. The government’s alleged Christmas party was attended by “several dozen” people. Johnson himself is not accused of attending either party.
Opposition leader Kier Starmer of the Labor Party took advantage of the revelation to harshly criticize the party in government, saying the prime minister should be “embarrassed”.
“Now, millions of people think the Prime Minister took them for fools and lied to them. They’re right, aren’t they?” Starmer asked Johnson during the Prime Minister’s weekly questioning session.
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Johnson said he was “furious” to see the clip and apologized “unreservedly for the offense he has caused across the country.”
“I apologize for the impression you get,” Johnson told the House of Commons. Johnson said he had ordered the top British official, Simon Case, to investigate and that anyone who broke the rules would be disciplined.
But reports soon led Johnson to the meetings, saying his staff helped organize the party, which included wine, food, games, and a gift exchange.
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The public outcry quickly turned to Johnson: people have asked for answers and otherwise expressed their frustration in creative ways, such as A poem on the London Underground entitled “Downing Street December” which mocked the party for “one rule for them and one for me”. A Facebook event for a Christmas “rave” at 10 Downing Street has gathered 170,000 “attendees” and 231,000 “interested,” The Express reported.
Johnson has already faced pressure from some corners of his party to report that the country will resume confinement this winter amid further criticism of how Johnson has handled corruption issues and his party’s overwhelming defeats in recent years. local elections that saw the Conservatives lose six of the seven available seats.
A dozen party ministers had written letters of censure in November, weeks before news of the parties challenging the blockade raised anger among the public.
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Senior Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale said “the dollar stops at the top” and asked Johnson to give definitive answers about the parties.
According to party rules, a leadership contest is triggered if 15% of incumbent Conservative MPs write a letter to the committee chair to demand one, according to The Independent.
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In a call between Bolton West Conservative MP Chris Green and a Manchester radio show, Green declined to answer directly if he had lost confidence in the Prime Minister. Instead, he paused awkwardly and finally said, “I think silence speaks volumes.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.