LONDON – It’s the snowball effect for the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. New revelations about a party organized in Downing street in full containment, and where a hundred people have been invited, propel the conservative leader into the eye of the storm, while his image was already tarnished by a series of scandals.
“Bring your bottles,” concluded the email, revealed by ITV News and sent by Boris Johnson’s chief private secretary, Martin Reynolds, on May 20, when the British were legally forced to drastically reduce their contacts.
The invitation was to “enjoy the good weather” during a “social distancing” drink in the gardens of the Prime Minister’s residence “after an incredibly busy period”.
She did the effect of a bombe while an internal investigation is already looking into parties that would have been organized in December 2020 in circles of power. Unsurprisingly, these revelations made the front page of the British press, notably with the hashtag “Partygate”.
This new revelation comes on top of a series of scandals which has prompted part of the public to turn against the 57-year-old conservative leader, triumphantly elected just over two years ago.
Johnson and his wife directly targeted
According to the British media, the head of government and his wife (then his fiancée) Carrie would have themselves participated in this “garden party” with around forty people.
On the same day, Culture Minister Oliver Dowden reminded the English population of the strict rules in force: “you can meet someone outside your home in a public place, outside, as long as you stay two meters away. the other.”
The police, who repeated the same instructions at the time, said they were in contact with the government on these revelations which could trigger an investigation for violation of health rules.
The revelation has infuriated the families of victims of the pandemic, which has claimed more than 150,000 lives in the UK. On the day of the supposed celebration, 363 deaths of people infected with Covid-19 were recorded.
Hannah Brady, spokesperson for Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, said in a statement it made her “sick” to think Downing Street workers “had partied” days after the death of her father, when she hadn’t even had the right to hug her friends.
Secretary of State for Health Ed Argar admitted on television on Tuesday that he understood people to feel “angry”.
Asked – before the revelation of the invitation – about his presence at this event, Boris Johnson contented himself with an embarrassed smile to refer to the ongoing investigation, led by senior official Sue Gray, into the numerous allegations of rule-breaking events in Downing Street during the pandemic.
“Stop lying to the British. It is time to confess everything ”, challenged him on Twitter the leader of Labor, the main opposition party, Keir Starmer.
“Boris Johnson, your digressions and your distractions are absurd. Not only did you know the parties in Downing Street, you attended them. Stop lying to the British public. It’s time to finally put things in perspective.
This affair embarrasses the head of government whose reputation has already been tarnished by suspicion of lying about the financing of thehas luxurious renovation of its official apartment, of awarding contracts between friends during the pandemic or even accusations of favoritism towards generous donors of the Conservative Party.
For now, the charismatic leader with the tousled blond hair insists on the success of the vaccination campaign against the Covid-19 or the achievement of the Brexit which had seduced the popular classes usually won over to Labor in the North of England.
But for Labor MP Ed Miliband, “his position is very difficult”. “How can he lead the country through these difficult times, get people to follow public health advice, if he’s broken the rules so blatantly?” He asks.
Affected by these scandals which tarnished his image as a man of the people, the popularity of Boris Johnson fell in his last months: 71% of those questioned thought he was a bad Prime Minister according to a YouGov poll of December 20.
Within his party, nearly half (46%) believe that Finance Minister Rishi Sunak would make a better prime minister, according to a study by the same polling institute for SkyNews revealed on Sunday.
To overthrow it, a vote of no confidence within the Conservative Party would suffice.
See also on The HuffPost: Boris Johnson still does not know how to hold an umbrella and it makes the English laugh