new photos show Boris Johnson attended party during lockdown, UK press says

It’s a high-risk week for Boris Johnson. The full report by senior civil servant Sue Gray, responsible for the long-awaited report on the “partygate” scandal, these alcoholic parties having taken place in Downing Street during the Covid-19 pandemic, should be published in the days to come.

A preliminary report, considerably redacted so as not to interfere with the police investigation, gave a scathing foretaste, denouncing, among other things, “errors of leadership and judgment”, allowing these celebrations to take place.

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While Boris Johnson has been trying for months to mitigate the scandal, the ITV television channel published new photos on Monday May 23 showing the head of the British government raising a glass with a group of people around a table on which are laid out food and bottles of wine. According to the British channel, these photos were taken during Boris Johnson’s communications chief’s departure party on November 13, 2020. The United Kingdom was then experiencing its second confinement.

Targeted by a parliamentary inquiry

At the end of its investigation completed last week on the “partygate” scandal, the London police issued 126 fines, corresponding to eight different dates, ranging from May 20, 2020 to April 16, 2021.

She, however, spared Boris Johnson a new fine, after the one received in April for breaking health rules during the pandemic – and attending one of the parties that took place in Downing Street, his birthday in June 2020. He then assured that he only stayed there ” ten minutes “. “I must say frankly that it did not seem to me, at the time, that it could break the rules”he pleaded.

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The images, published by ITV on Monday, once again cast doubt on the veracity of the statements made by the British Prime Minister, who has repeated on several occasions, including before the House of Commons, that “all the rules were followed”. When the first accusations emerged, in the fall of 2021, Boris Johnson assured MPs “that there had been no party” and that no rule established to stem the epidemic had been broken.

The publication of Sue Gray’s report will allow a new investigation, parliamentary this time, to begin. It will aim to determine whether Boris Johnson knowingly misled MPs in this affair, while the ministerial code stipulates that a minister who deliberately misled Parliament must resign.

On Monday, several politicians, including some in the Conservative Party, said the new footage proved Johnson had lied to parliament.

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“It is absolutely clear that there was a party, that he attended it, that he toasted one of his colleaguesTory MP Roger Gale told Times Radio. It means he deceived us [à la tribune de la Chambre]. » Ruth Davidson, the former leader of Scotland’s Conservatives, also said the photos showed Johnson had “lied to Parliament”. “I don’t think his situation is tenable”she said.

The World with AP


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