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Boris Johnson admits having participated in a party in full confinement, the opposition calls for his resignation


Boris Johnson confirms having attended a party in Downing Street during confinement last May. And he presented his “apologies” this Wednesday during a question and answer session before Parliament under extreme tension. According to his statements, he believed “implicitly” that it was a work meeting.

In front of the deputies, he explained that he believed that the event respected the health rules then in force, assuming “responsibility” for the “errors” that were made.

Opposition Labor leader Keir Starmer has called for the resignation of the British Prime Minister. “His defense of saying he didn’t know he was at a party is so ridiculous that it’s actually insulting to the British public,” Keir Starmer said during the weekly government question session. “Will he now have the decency to resign? “, he added, accusing the conservative leader of “lying like a tooth-puller”.

Faced with a series of revelations at the end of last year on parties organized in circles of power in defiance of health rules to fight against the coronavirus in 2020, the government of Boris Johnson and the circles of power are singled out for a ten parties organized in the midst of a pandemic when the British had to drastically reduce their contacts.

A video released in early December shows the Prime Minister’s then press secretary Allegra Stratton preparing with other advisers answers to hypothetical questions from journalists, on December 22, 2020, about a supposed Christmas party in Downing Street four days earlier. A colleague then asks her if there was indeed a “Christmas party” on December 18, to which Allegra Stratton replies, in a joking tone: “I went home”. And the adviser, disconcerted, to kick into touch: “Wait, wait, uh… What is the answer? she asks her colleague, between hesitation and embarrassed smiles. “This fictional party was a business meeting… And there was no social distancing,” she finally laughs.

The ITV channel again revealed Monday evening the existence of an email sent to a hundred people by the Chief Secretary to the Prime Minister, Martin Reynolds, on May 20, 2020. “Bring your bottles”, launched the invitation which called to “take advantage of the good weather” during a drink “with social distancing” in the gardens of the Prime Minister’s residence. About thirty or forty people had responded to the invitation, according to the press, including the head of government and his fiancée Carrie whom he married shortly after.

A vote of no confidence within the party?

Before the deputies, Boris Johnson explained that he should have considered that if the event could “technically” be considered to be within the rules, the perception of the British, prevented from meeting their relatives, could be quite different. “I apologize from the bottom of my heart,” he said. He claimed to take “responsibility” for the “mistakes” that were made.

If he continues to refuse to leave, a vote of no confidence within the party, requiring 54 letters to be triggered, would be enough to overthrow him. Unlikely in the immediate future, this option is however no longer taboo among the conservatives, who are reluctant to bother with leaders in turmoil and who could prefer Finance Minister Rishi Sunak or the head of diplomacy Liz Truss.

If this crisis around respect for the rules appears to be the most serious For Boris Johnson, it is far from being the first. He has already faced the storms caused by the move across England in full confinement of his ex-adviser Dominic Cummings and his ex-health minister Matt Hancock had to resign after being filmed kissing a collaborator, in defiance of the anti covid rules.

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