Prime Minister Boris Johnson giving his statement at the house of Commons on Wednesday
They have been Flurry of accusation against the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson over parties held during lockdowns in Downing Street. Trouble started for the Prime Minister after an email was leaked late Monday in which a senior aide invited more than 100 colleagues to the event on May 20, 2020, encouraging them to “bring your own booze”.
The event which occurred at a time when the government was ordered members of the public not to meet, even outdoors, and tight restrictions were in place on social mixing, including at funerals, was held at number 10 Dawning Street, and was said to have been attended by both Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie, according to anonymous witnesses, has intensified anger amongst the general public and even some of his party members.
Speaking on Wednesday at the house of Commons, Boris Johnson said “Mr. Speaker I want to apologize. I know that millions of people across this country have made extra-ordinary sacrifices over the last 18 months. I know the Anguish that they have been through. Unable to mourn their relatives, and unable to live their lives as they want or to do the the things they love. And I know the rage they feel with me, and with the government I lead, when they think that in Dawning itself, the rules are not being properly followed by the people who make the rules.”
The prime minister also said that number 10 Dawning Street which has a big garden is an extension of the office, and was being constantly used because of the role of fresh air in curtailing the Virus. He claimed that he went into the garden on the 20th of May to thank groups and staffs before going back to his office 20 minutes later to continue working. He added ” I believed implicitly that this was a work event. But Mr. speaker, with hindsight I should have sent every one back inside, I should have found some other way to thank them, and I should have recognized-that even if it could have been said technically to fall within the guidance-there would be millions and millions of people who simply would not see it that way. People who suffered terribly and people who were forbidden from meeting with their loved ones at all, inside or outside. And to them and to the house I offer my heartfelt apologies.”
Several MPs has called for the resignation of the prime minister and the opposition parties are now united in calling for his resignation. Conservatives leader Dauglas Ross and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer are among other MPs calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister. Responding to the Prime Minister’s statement at the house of Commons, Sir Keir Starmer said “This just isn’t working Prime Minister, everyone could see what really happened. It started with reports on boozy parties in Dawning Street During Lockdown, the prime minister pretended that he had been assured there were no parties.” He added “He pretended that he was sickened and furious about the parties, now it turns out he was at the party all along, can’t the Prime Minister see that the British Public thinks he is lying through his teeth.”
Later A Dawning Street Spokesman said the Prime Minister did not see the email inviting staffs to drinks on 20 may 2020. However, Boris Johnson asks that Sue Gray, a senior Civil Servant and Second Permanent secretary in the Cabinet office investigating the May 2020 gatherings, be allowed to complete her inquiry into that day and several others, so that the full facts can be established. And that he will come back to this House and make a statement.
The London Metropolitan Police say they have been in contact with the Cabinet office over the May 2020 gatherings, raising possibility of a more serious, criminal probe. No doubt that Boris Johnson’s political life us hanging on the balance, but will he be able to survive this?