Boris Johnson is under more pressure with the new lockdown ‘Partigate’ picture


London
CNN

Boris Johnson, the beleagured Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has been accused of misleading lawmakers and appealing to new resignations.

Photos obtained by ITV News show Johnson offering a toast when a colleague leaves the party in November 2020; There are a few bottles of alcohol lying on the table in front of him. According to an ITV News report, Johnson appears to be giving a speech in some photographs.

At the time, due to the increase in Covid-19 cases, indoor social mixing was banned and no more than two people were allowed to meet outside.

Johnson’s premiership has been shattered by the so-called “Partigate” scandal, which has seen allegations of parties and rallies for months at the center of his government at various stages of the epidemic lockdown.

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom initially claimed in December that there was no party, but police officials have finally investigated eight cases and both Johnson and his chancellor, Sage Sunak, have been fined for joining one.

The new images have led to a new wave of outrage from opposition lawmakers and some colleagues in Johnson’s own Conservative party.

Another photo shows several bottles on the table in front of Johnson and his colleagues.

According to a Downing Street official who spoke to BBC Panorama anonymously, the November 13 party was told that people were standing “shoulder to shoulder” and “sitting on each other’s laps”.

“There were about 30 people in one house, if not more. Everyone was standing shoulder to shoulder, some people in each other’s laps. (6), ”the official said in an interview broadcast on Tuesday. When asked to confirm that some attendees were sitting on each other’s laps, the officer said “yes, one or two.”

“The prime minister was going to his flat and he came to give a speech for Lee Kane [Johnson’s former director of communications]. He just wanted to thank Lee for all his work. He gave a short speech about it, “the official added.

The photos cast doubt on a statement Johnson made to the House of Commons in December, when he was asked if there was a party on Downing Street on the date in question.

“No, but I’m sure no matter what, the guidelines were followed and the rules were always followed,” Johnson replied.

Deliberately misleading the House of Commons leads to a breach of the British government’s ministry code and usually to resignation.

Asked if Johnson had told parliament that none of the lockdown rules had been broken, another official told Panorama anonymously: “We were watching it all live and we looked at each other in disbelief, ‘Why? Why is he denying it? ‘ When we were with him this whole time, we knew the rules had been broken. We knew these teams were. I mean, it’s pretty clear that he lied in Parliament. [The parties] Was every week. The invitation to the event for Friday’s press office drink was simply nailed to the diary. ”

Asked whether there was a weekly regular invitation to the press office for a drink on Friday night, the same official said: “Yes. Wine-time Friday. There were invitations on everyone’s calendar every Friday at 4pm. ”

CNN contacted number 10 for comment on the BBC Panorama report.

Panorama asked No. 10 for an interview with Johnson or a senior member of the government but they refused, according to the program.

“Boris Johnson has repeatedly said he knows nothing about breaking the law – now there’s no doubt he’s lying,” said Angela Rainer, a Labor deputy leader. “The prime minister has insulted his office. He made the rules, and then broke them. The British people deserve better. ”

Conservative MP Roger Gayle wrote on Twitter: “I believe the Prime Minister has misled the House of Commons. It’s a matter of resignation. ”

A report by Sue Gray, a civilian employee at Westminster “Partigate” events, is awaiting Gray’s release. In a brief update to his investigation in January, Gray denounced “leadership failure” and “a serious failure” in monitoring government standards.

The images also prompted an investigation by the Metropolitan Police, whose Downing Street Party’s own investigation delayed Gray’s investigation, after officers decided not to fine Johnson for the event seen in the latest images.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan told BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday that “it is important to explain why the police have come to their conclusion.” And former Conservative attorney general Dominic Greaves told the BBC that officials’ decision to clear Johnson of the incident was “incomprehensible”.

But Downing Street told CNN that police had access to photographs and other evidence during their investigation. They added in a statement: “The Mets have completed their investigation and Sue Gray will release her report in the coming days, where the Prime Minister will give a full speech in Parliament.”

Johnson has previously apologized for the lockdown party and promised to turn it into a Downing Street operation.

The scandal has tarnished Johnson’s position in the polls and put his job security at a disadvantage for months.

Conservative MPs have so far refused to trigger a no-confidence vote that could force Johnson out of office if passed. But a disappointing set of local election results last month, and two tough parliamentary by-elections scheduled for June, have maintained scrutiny over the leadership of the UK Prime Minister.

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