Pressure has been renewed on embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson amid more allegations that his Downing Street staff have been throwing parties while the country was on lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.
the The Daily Telegraph claims Two staff departure parties were held on the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April 2021.
The next day, images of Queen Elizabeth sitting alone in a hooded church in line with the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions were a stark symbol of the draconian measures being imposed across the UK. The country was also in a period of national mourning.
However, the night before, Downing Street staff gathered for two departure events to celebrate the departure of two members of Boris Johnson’s team, according to The Telegraph: the communications director and one of his personal photographers.
The newspaper says that witnesses told it that the events continued until the early morning hours, and included drinking and dancing.
The new accusations – which Downing Street has not denied – come at a time when the prime minister is struggling to stay in office.
Earlier this week, Boris Johnson apologized to Parliament for another party during the lockdown – which he attended – which failed to impress critics. There have been many calls for his resignation, including from within his conservative ruling party.
On Thursday, senior British government ministers expressed their support for Boris Johnson and rejected his call to resign. They urged the people to keep judgment pending the outcome of an internal investigation by a senior government official.
Several other Conservatives stuck out their tongues, waiting to see whether the crisis threatening his premiership would abate or worsen.
But a split arose between the Scottish Conservative Party and the party in Westminster. Douglas Ross, the party’s leader in Scotland, said Johnson’s position was “no longer viable” and had the support of other Scottish MPs from the Conservative Party.
His comment led to the removal of Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the House of Commons, who had called Ross “lightweight” – sparking outrage among the party in Scotland.