While the British locked themselves in to protect themselves from Covid-19, alcohol flowed freely during the pots organized in Downing Street: the report on the “partygate” drew harsh conclusions for Boris Johnson on Wednesday May 25.
The press revelations and the 126 fines issued by the police (including one to Boris Johnson for a surprise birthday) had already given an idea of what was happening in the Prime Minister’s residence during the confinements, synonymous with heavy sacrifices for the British . But the report by Sue Gray, a senior civil servant, is a damning dive into these violations.
The document of about forty pages tells chronologically, emails and photos in support, a series of very alcoholic pots [jusqu’à en vomir] with altercations, music, leaving through back doors in the early morning and sometimes disrespect for the security or maintenance agents.
Boris Johnson assumes but refuses to give up his post
Without naming those responsible or recommending sanctions, Sue Gray questions power. “Some of the less experienced officials believed that their participation in some of these events was permissible, given the presence of senior leaders. Senior leaders, whether political or official, must take responsibility for this culture”she believes.
In front of the deputies then the press, Boris Johnson assured to assume “full responsibility for everything that happened” and excluded from resigning. “Given everything that is happening now, my job is to continue and serve” the British, he claimed, citing the war in Ukraine and runaway inflation. His government is due to announce in the coming days a new plan to help households strangled by energy bills – a way of diverting attention according to the opposition.
Opinion in favor of his resignation
In the absence of elections, the question is whether these new elements will be sufficient to rekindle anger within the majority, or even demonstrate that the head of government has lied to Parliament, which could hasten his departure.
“Are you ready to defend this attitude publicly day after day? », Tory MP Tobias Ellwood told his colleagues. One of them, Julian Sturdy, joined the 15 Tories who have already publicly called on Boris Johnson to quit, citing “public interest”.
Three in five Britons believe Boris Johnson should quit, according to a YouGov poll after the report was published, with three-quarters believing he knowingly lied.