Boris Johnson in turmoil for “Friday aperitifs” during confinement – RT in French
According to the British daily The Mirror, aperitifs were organized every Friday at 10 Downing Street, the residence of Boris Johnson, during confinement. The opposition and some conservatives are calling for the Prime Minister’s resignation.
Trouble continues for Boris Johnson. According to the British daily The Mirror, aperitifs were organized every Friday at 10 Downing Street during the confinement period, thus lengthening the list of accusations against the British Prime Minister, whose position seems increasingly precarious. In total, no less than 10 clandestine events have been organized by “Bojo” and his team since the first confinement.
Stuck in what the media has dubbed “partygate”, the 57-year-old Tory is openly criticized by his majority and facing his worst crisis since coming to power in July 2019. He apologized to Parliament on January 12 for his attendance at one such party in May 2020, saying he thought it was a business meeting.
But since then, other revelations have arisen, in particular concerning a party in Downing Street – this time without Boris Johnson – organized the day before the funeral of Prince Philip in April 2021. Elizabeth II had attended the funeral of her husband alone in the chapel at Windsor Castle, a symbolic image of the rigor of the confinements.
In its January 15 edition, The Mirror claimed that every Friday, Downing Street workers end their working week by sharing glasses of wine, a ‘long-standing tradition’ which has continued despite the introduction of Covid-related restrictions prohibiting such gatherings. The newspaper adds that the staff had invested in a fridge to keep their bottles of alcohol cool and that the Prime Minister was aware of these gatherings.
A spokesperson for Downing Street referred to the conclusions of an investigation led by a senior civil servant, Sue Gray, who will have to determine whether Boris Johnson and his collaborators broke the rules during these various events.
The Prime Minister criticized by his own majority, the opposition calls for his resignation
But anger is brewing, including in the conservative ranks. MP Andrew Bridgen said on January 15 that he “does not need to wait for what Sue Gray says to know that for me Boris Johnson has lost the moral authority to lead the country”.
Boris Johnson has launched the counterattack designed to hold on to power. According to AFP, several British media have reported that his supporters have been asked to praise his achievements, including the implementation of Brexit, and that some of his aides will be asked to leave.
Opposition Labor leader Keir Starmer repeated his call for the resignation on January 15, saying it was in the “national interest”. “We have a Prime Minister who is absent – he is literally in hiding at the moment – and he is unable to lead, which is why I have concluded that he must leave,” he said during a speech to the left-wing think tank The Fabian Society.
Keir Starmer has himself been accused of hypocrisy over photos showing him having a beer with a small group of Labor workers in an office in May 2021, at a time when indoor meetings were banned, except in the professional context. When the photo was first published last year, his party argued that Keir Starmer had broken no rules because he was at a ‘workplace’.