Pressure grows on Johnson to participate in a party in full lockdown
The waters are choppy again at Westminster. Boris Johnson yes he attended on May 20, 2020 to a fiesta in the gardens of his official residence in Downing Street to which about a hundred people were invited, as he himself confirmed this Wednesday during a tense appearance in the House of Commons, in which in addition to acknowledging that he participated in the celebration for only “20 minutes”, he asked for a “heartfelt” apologies to the population. Of course, not without first clarifying that he believed that it was a “work” event and that it was when he came down to say hello that he realized that it was not like that. Later, a spokesman for number 10 told reporters that the prime minister “did not see the email” with the summons, so he was not aware of the festive nature of the mass meeting.
The British Prime Minister told MPs that now, when he looks back, he believes that he should have “sent everyone in” and cancel the meeting, which according to the rules in force at the time to stop the spread of the Covid-19 it was forbidden. In fact, just one hour before the start of the meeting, convened by email by the private secretary of the ‘premier’, Martin Reynolds, the Minister of Culture, Oliver Dowden, reminded people at a televised press conference that their only option to socialize was in pairs and outdoors. “You can meet a person outside your home in a public place in the open air as long as you keep two meters away,” he declared then. But just a few minutes later, at number 10, a large group of people were enjoying the “good weather” between drinks, according to the summons sent by Reynolds by email.
“I want to apologize,” said Johnson at the beginning of the appearance, who continued: “I know the anger they feel with me and with the government that I lead, when they think that in Downing Street the people who make the rules do not follow them correctly,” he said. .
The Labor leader, Keir Starmer, described his defense as “ridiculous” and responded to the ‘premier’ calling him to resign, thus following the example of other of his collaborators who at the time violated the health rules imposed to combat the coronavirus, as is the case of the Minister of Health , Matt Hancock.
But those who have reacted the hardest have been the ‘Tories’ themselves, increasingly tired of the prime minister’s scandals, which follow one after another. “Unfortunately, I have to say that his position is no longer tenable,” he declared in reference to the prime minister. Douglas Ross, the Scottish Conservative leader, who considered that Johnson “cannot continue as leader of the Conservatives” and called for his resignation, a request that he also supported Ruth Davidson, former Scottish ‘Tory’ leader. “People are, and with good reason, furious,” he said, and detailed that the population sacrificed a lot during the confinements, without visiting sick relatives or attending the funerals of the deceased. What were these people thinking? He wondered, referring to the garden party attendees. More than half of Scottish Conservative MPs supported the resignation request.
“I will not defend the indefensible and I fully share the indignation and discomfort” of the people who “were making enormous personal sacrifices, sometimes terrible, to do the right thing and obey the rules of public health,” he said for his part. Neil Hudson. “We need full clarity and transparency about what happened,” he wrote, adding that “if the rules have been broken, then rightly so there should be serious consequences.”
In a more moderate tone he reacted Nadine Dorries, who pointed out that the ‘premier’ did the right thing by apologizing. “People are hurt and angry about what happened and he has taken full responsibility for it.” But not everyone agrees. Roger Gale He said that it is clear that Johnson “deceives” Parliament and that he has left the deputies in an “impossible situation” after admitting that he attended the party on May 20 and considered that it was “time” for the prime minister ” go with dignity.
Ministers in defense of the ‘premier’
In defense of the ‘premier’ came the Minister of Justice, Dominic Raab, who told the BBC that he hopes Johnson will continue in his post “for many years to come.” “He has made it clear that he believed he was acting according to the rules but, of course, he understands the perception that those in power are not following the rules that many others are required to follow, particularly those who have been through severe difficulties or the loss of loved ones during this pandemic, and for that he has apologized, “he said. When asked in what other work meeting people would be asked to “bring their own drink,” as guests were asked in e-mail, he threw the ball out saying that “this is precisely why Sue Gray, a senior official, she has been tasked with conducting an independent investigation to make sure all those questions can be answered clearly, transparently and openly. ‘
In this regard, the conservative parliamentarian William Wragg, Chairman of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, said: “I don’t think it should be left to a public official to determine the future of the prime minister and, indeed, of who governs this country. I think it is up to the conservative party, if not the prime minister, to make that decision and realize what is best for us to move forward as a party and as a nation.
The Minister of the Interior also defended Johnson, Priti Patel, who in a message in a wasap ‘tory’ group asked his fellow ranks to support the ‘premier’ so that he can fulfill his promises and with his priority, which is ‘the people’.