UK PM Johnson under fire over 'bring your own booze' lockdown party

Jinentonix

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"“This feels like it is part of the prime minister’s character which is: he thinks he can get away with things and he is sending the message out all around his government that the rules don’t apply to us, they only apply to everybody else,” said Ed Miliband, a former Labour Party leader.:

Huh, sounds like just about every other govt on the planet today. Rules for thee but none for me.
 
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Tecumsehsbones

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"“This feels like it is part of the prime minister’s character which is: he thinks he can get away with things and he is sending the message out all around his government that the rules don’t apply to us, they only apply to everybody else,” said Ed Miliband, a former Labour Party leader.:

Huh, sounds like just about every other govt on the planet today. Rules for thee but none for me.
BoreJo considered himself above the law long before he got into government.

It's what comes of naming a kid "de Pfeffel."
 

spaminator

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U.K. PM's office apologizes to Queen for party on eve of Philip's funeral

Boris Johnson was not invited to any gathering, his spokesman said.

Author of the article:
Reuters
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Guy Faulconbridge and Kylie Maclellan
Publishing date:
Jan 14, 2022 • 14 hours ago • 3 minute read •
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Queen Elizabeth takes her seat ahead of the funeral of her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021.
Queen Elizabeth sits alone ahead of the funeral of her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021. Photo by Jonathan Brady /WPA Pool/Getty Images
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LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office apologized to Queen Elizabeth on Friday after it emerged that staff partied late into the night in Downing Street on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral, when mixing indoors was banned.
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Johnson is facing the gravest crisis of his premiership after almost daily revelations of social gatherings during COVID-19 lockdowns, some held when ordinary people could not bid farewell in person to dying relatives.

As an opinion poll showed the opposition Labour Party pulling into a 10-point lead over Johnson’s Conservatives, a report said he had encouraged staff to “let off steam” during regular “wine-time Friday” gatherings.

After building a political career out of flouting accepted norms, Johnson is now under growing pressure from some of his own lawmakers to quit. Opponents say he is unfit to rule and has misled parliament by denying COVID-19 guidance was breached.

In an extraordinary twist to a saga that has been widely lampooned by comedians and cartoonists, the Daily Telegraph said drinks parties were held inside Downing Street on April 16, 2021, the day before Prince Philip’s funeral.
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“It is deeply regrettable this took place at a time of national mourning and No. 10 (Downing Street) has apologized to the Palace,” Johnson’s spokesman told reporters.

Johnson was at his Chequers country residence that day and was not invited to any gathering, his spokesman said.

Such was the revelry in Downing Street, the Telegraph said, that staff went to a nearby supermarket to buy a suitcase of alcohol, spilled wine on carpets, and broke a swing used by the prime minister’s son.

The next day, Queen Elizabeth bade farewell to Philip, her husband of 73 years, following his death aged 99.

Dressed in black and in a white trimmed black face mask, the 95-year-old Elizabeth cut a poignant figure as she sat alone, in strict compliance with coronavirus rules, during his funeral service at Windsor Castle.
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‘LEAVE THE STAGE’

Opponents have called for Johnson, 57, to resign, casting him as a charlatan who demanded the British people follow some of the most onerous rules in peacetime history while his staff partied at the heart of government.

A small but growing number in Johnson’s Conservative Party have echoed those calls, fearing it will do lasting damage to its electoral prospects.

“Sadly, the Prime Minister’s position has become untenable,” said Conservative lawmaker Andrew Bridgen, a former Johnson supporter. “The time is right to leave the stage.”

In the latest report of rule-breaking, the Mirror newspaper said staff had bought a large wine fridge for Friday gatherings, events that were regularly observed by Johnson as he walked to his apartment in the building.
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“If the PM tells you to ‘let off steam’, he’s basically saying this is fine,” it quoted one source as saying.

Separately, the former head of the government unit behind COVID restrictions, Kate Josephs, apologized for holding her own drinks gathering when she left the job in December 2020.

Johnson has given a variety of explanations of the parties, ranging from denials that any rules were broken to expressing understanding for the public anger at apparent hypocrisy at the heart of the British state.

The Independent newspaper said Johnson had dubbed a plan to salvage his premiership as “Operation Save Big Dog.”

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, seen as a possible successor, said “real mistakes” had been made.

“We need to look at the overall position we’re in as a country, the fact that he (Johnson) has delivered Brexit, that we are recovering from COVID… He has apologized.”
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“I think we now need to move on.”

To trigger a leadership challenge, 54 of the 360 Conservative members of parliament must write letters of no confidence to the chairman of the party’s 1922 Committee.

The Telegraph said as many as 30 such letters had been submitted.

Johnson faces a tough year ahead: beyond COVID-19, inflation is soaring, energy bills are spiking, taxation will rise in April and his party faces local elections in May.

British police said on Thursday they would not investigate gatherings held in Johnson’s residence during a coronavirus lockdown unless an internal government inquiry finds evidence of potential criminal offences.
 

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U.K. government accused of 'blackmail' to keep Boris Johnson in power

The threshold for a confidence vote in Johnson has yet to be breached

Author of the article:
Reuters
Reuters
Elizabeth Piper and Kate Holton
Publishing date:
Jan 20, 2022 • 17 hours ago • 3 minute read •
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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the Rutherford Diagnostic Centre in Taunton, Britain, January 20, 2022.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the Rutherford Diagnostic Centre in Taunton, Britain, January 20, 2022. Photo by Andrew Matthews /Pool via REUTERS
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LONDON — A senior Conservative lawmaker accused the British government on Thursday of intimidating and attempting to “blackmail” those lawmakers they suspect of wanting to force Prime Minister Boris Johnson out of power.
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Johnson, who won a large majority in 2019, is facing growing calls to step down over a series of scandals, including admitting he had attended a party at his Downing Street office at a time when Britain was under a strict COVID-19 lockdown.

Some younger Conservative lawmakers have spearheaded attempts to unseat their leader and opposition leaders have demanded he resign. The heat was turned up further in parliament on Wednesday when one of the party’s longest-serving representatives told the prime minister in parliament “In the name of God, go.”

Johnson, 57, has vowed to fight on, saying he would lead the Conservative Party into the next election.

But in yet another blow to his shaky standing, William Wragg, chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, accused the government of blackmail.
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“In recent days, a number of members of parliament have faced pressures and intimidation from members of the government because of their declared or assumed desire for a vote of confidence in the party leadership of the prime minister,” Wragg said in a statement before a meeting of the committee.

“Moreover, the reports of which I’m aware, would seem to constitute blackmail. As such, it would be my general advice to colleagues to report these matters to the speaker of the House of Commons and the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.”

In response, Johnson told broadcasters he had “seen no evidence, heard no evidence to support any of those allegations,” echoing an earlier statement from his office which said if there was evidence, the allegations would be looked at.
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WAITING FOR PARTY PROBE

Christian Wakeford, a lawmaker who defected from the Conservatives to Labour this week, said the government had threatened to withhold funding for a new school in part of his constituency if he refused to vote with the government.

“I was threatened that I would not get the school for Radcliffe if I didn’t vote in one particular way,” Wakeford told the BBC.

“This is a town that has not had a high school for the best part of 10 years and how do you feel when holding back the regeneration of a town for a vote, it didn’t sit comfortably.”

Anger is running high, but so far the threshold for a confidence vote in Johnson has yet to be breached, with several Conservative lawmakers saying they would wait until an investigation into the parties had been completed.
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That probe is being led by Sue Gray, a civil servant. The political editor for ITV said on Twitter that Gray had found an email from a senior official warning Johnson’s principle private secretary that a party on May 20, 2020, should not go ahead.

Johnson has said he attended what he thought was a work event on that day, to which staff had been told to “bring their own booze.” Johnson said on Tuesday nobody had told him the gathering was against COVID rules.

Wragg referred to the work of government whips, parliamentary enforcers whose job is to ensure Conservative lawmakers back government policy and stay in line.

“It is of course the duty of the government whips office to secure the government’s business in the House of Commons (lower house of parliament),” he said.
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“However it is not their function to breach the ministerial code in threatening to withdraw investments from members of parliament’s constituencies which are funded from the public purse.”

The whips – a term with its roots in fox-hunting that dates back to 1742 – are widely known to use threats and sometimes offers of promotion to get lawmakers to support the party line.

But there are rules the whips must adhere to. The parliamentary speaker said: “It is of course a contempt to obstruct members in the discharge of their duty or to attempt to intimidate a member in their parliamentary conduct by threats.”
 

taxme

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Where did my thread go on the UK dropping covid mandates? Just wondering.
 

spaminator

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U.K. PM Boris Johnson had birthday party during lockdown, ITV News says
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Jan 24, 2022 • 12 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a news conference for the latest COVID-19 update in the Downing Street briefing room, in London, Dec. 8, 2021.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a news conference for the latest COVID-19 update in the Downing Street briefing room, in London, Dec. 8, 2021. PHOTO BY ADRIAN DENNIS/POOL /REUTERS / FILES
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LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had a birthday party during the first COVID-19 lockdown in June 2020 when social gatherings indoors were banned, ITV News reported on Monday.

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The revelation ratchets up the pressure on Johnson over a series of gatherings at his 10 Downing Street residence that would seem to have broken the pandemic lockdown rules imposed by his government.

His office disputed the claim it was a party, telling ITV: “A group of staff working in No. 10 that day gathered briefly in the Cabinet Room after a meeting to wish the Prime Minister a happy birthday.

“He was there for less than 10 minutes.”

ITV said it was alleged the prime minister’s wife, Carrie Johnson, helped organize the party on the afternoon of June 19.

Up to 30 people attended the event in the Cabinet Room of No. 10, his office and residence, ITV said. The prime minister was believed to have been presented with a cake whilst his wife led staff in a chorus of happy birthday, it said.

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The broadcaster said one of the attendees was interior designer Lulu Lytle, who was renovating Johnson’s flat in the building.

ITV also said it also understood that family friends were hosted in the prime minister’s residence on the previous evening.

His office denied this claim.

“This is totally untrue,” a spokesperson told ITV. “In line with the rules at the time, the prime minister hosted a small number of family members outside that evening.”

The birthday allegations add more fuel to a scandal that has engulfed Johnson.

Senior bureaucrat Sue Gray has been investigating the gatherings and is expected to publish a report later this week.

Johnson has given a variety of explanations about previously reported parties: first he said no rules had been broken but then he apologies to the British people for the apparent hypocrisy of such gatherings.

Opposition leader Keir Starmer said of the birthday gathering: “This is yet more evidence that we have got a prime minister who believes that the rules that he made don’t apply to him.”

“We cannot afford to go on with this chaotic, rudderless government. The prime minister is a national distraction and he’s got to go.”
 

spaminator

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British police investigating lockdown parties at PM Boris Johnson's residence
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Alistair Smout and Kate Holton
Publishing date:Jan 25, 2022 • 14 hours ago • 3 minute read • Join the conversation
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks outside Downing Street in London, Jan. 12, 2022.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks outside Downing Street in London, Jan. 12, 2022. PHOTO BY HENRY NICHOLLS /REUTERS
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LONDON — British police said on Tuesday they had opened an investigation into possible COVID-19 lockdown breaches at Boris Johnson’s Downing Street office and residence, the latest blow to a prime minister facing growing calls to resign.

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Johnson is fighting for his political life after allegations that he and staff partied at the heart of the British government in breach of rules they had themselves imposed to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Revelations of revelry including boozy parties in Downing Street, suitcases of supermarket alcohol, a broken children’s swing, a wine fridge and jokes by staff about how to present such parties to reporters, have hammered Johnson’s ratings.

ITV reported on Monday that Johnson and his now wife Carrie had attended a surprise party of up to 30 people for his birthday in the Cabinet Room at No. 10 Downing Street on June 19, 2020, when indoor gatherings were banned.

Johnson’s office described the alleged party as a brief gathering by staff to wish him happy birthday, adding that he was there for “less than 10 minutes.”

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A spokesman said Johnson did not believe he had broken the law over any of the gatherings.

“I welcome the Met’s (London Metropolitan Police) decision to conduct its own investigation because I believe this will help to give the public the clarity it needs and help to draw a line under matters,” Johnson told parliament.

Met Commissioner Cressida Dick, Britain’s top police officer, said an investigation had been opened into a number of events “at Downing Street and Whitehall in the last two years.”

Police had initially refused to look at the gatherings.

The Cabinet Office said its own investigation, by senior official Sue Gray, was continuing and there was ongoing contact with the police.

Johnson’s spokesman said Gray’s team was discussing with the police whether she could still release her report in full before their investigation had been completed.

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“I have seen reports suggesting we were seeking to prevent the publication and that is not accurate,” the spokesman said.

Anyone who is asked to will cooperate fully with the investigation, he said.

Reports of the gatherings have seen Johnson’s ratings plunge, with much of the public and some of his 359 Conservative Party lawmakers calling for him to resign.

So far, there are fewer than the 54 lawmakers required to trigger a confidence vote that could result in a leadership contest, but patience is wearing thin.

“With the police now investigating, this nightmare gets even worse,” senior Conservative David Davis, who has already called on Johnson to quit, said on Twitter.

The police said they had no timeframe for the investigation and government minister Michael Ellis told parliament: “We have no idea how long that (investigation) will be.”

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Johnson has survived scandals throughout his career but his premiership, straddling both Britain’s departure from the European Union and the worst pandemic for a century, has been defined by turbulence.

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a news conference for the latest COVID-19 update in the Downing Street briefing room, in London, Dec. 8, 2021.
U.K. PM Boris Johnson had birthday party during lockdown, ITV News says
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the Rutherford Diagnostic Centre in Taunton, Britain, January 20, 2022.
U.K. government accused of ‘blackmail’ to keep Boris Johnson in power
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks outside Downing Street in London, Jan. 12, 2022.
‘In the name of God, go’: U.K.’s Johnson faces demands to resign

His 2019 plan to suspend parliament and force Brexit through was overturned by the Supreme Court. Eventually, to the delight of millions who changed their political allegiance to vote for him, he negotiated a divorce deal with the EU.

When the pandemic struck, he drew criticism for delaying shutting the country down. He nearly died from COVID-19 himself before recovering to oversee a world-leading vaccine rollout.

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But reports that he and his staff were flouting the rules they imposed on the British public are testing Johnson’s legendary ability to bounce back.

“You break the rules, you’ve got to go,” said Ian Dowrich, 59, a builder from Brentwood, Essex, who said he had voted for Johnson.

Police chief Dick said police had not typically investigated every alleged lockdown breach but she felt there were grounds to do so now after receiving some findings from Gray’s inquiry.

Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Angela Rayner welcomed the investigation and renewed calls for Johnson to resign.

“Boris Johnson is a national distraction,” she said.
 

Tecumsehsbones

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“I welcome the Met’s (London Metropolitan Police) decision to conduct its own investigation because I believe this will help to give the public the clarity it needs and help to draw a line under matters,” Johnson told parliament.
"And because this gives it months or years to die down" he continued.
 

spaminator

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Boris Johnson refuses to resign over lockdown parties
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
William James and Elizabeth Piper
Publishing date:Jan 26, 2022 • 20 hours ago • 2 minute read • 6 Comments
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves the Downing Street in London, Britain, January 26, 2022.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves the Downing Street in London, Britain, January 26, 2022. PHOTO BY PETER NICHOLLS /REUTERS
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LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday rejected opposition calls to resign for attending lockdown parties but accepted that a rule that ministers should lose their jobs if they had knowlingly misled parliament applied to him.

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Johnson, who in 2019 won the biggest Conservative majority in more than 30 years, is braced for the publication of an official investigation into claims that there were multiple boozy Downing Street parties during lockdowns. He told parliament no rules were broken.

It was not immediately clear when the results of that investigation by Cabinet Office official Sue Gray would be published, especially as police have opened their own investigation.

Asked by the opposition Labour Party Keir Starmer leader if the ministerial code, which says that ministers who had knowingly misled parliament should offer to resign, applied to him Johnson said: “Of course.”

“If he’d misled parliament, he must resign,” Starmer told parliament. “Will you now resign?”

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“No,” Johnson replied.

He said he could not speak about investigations into the alleged parties. Johnson said his government was focused on driving economic growth and leading the Western response to the Ukraine crisis.

Johnson has given a variety of explanations about the parties: first he said no rules had been broken but then he apologized to the British people for the apparent hypocrisy of such gatherings.

He has denied an allegation he was warned that a “bring your own booze” lockdown gathering on May 20, 2020, which he says he thought was a work event, was inappropriate.

ITV reported on Monday that Johnson and his now wife Carrie had attended a surprise party of up to 30 people for his birthday in the Cabinet Room at Downing Street in June 2020, when indoor gatherings were banned.

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PARTY CULTURE

British police on Tuesday said they had opened their own investigation into lockdown events at Downing Street, upping the pressure on Johnson.

Some of his lawmakers have already demanded he resign but to trigger a leadership challenge, 54 of the 359 Conservative MPs in parliament must write letters of no confidence to the chairman of the party’s 1922 Committee.

The number of letters submitted is kept secret until the threshhold of 54 is reached.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, tipped as a possible future prime minister if Johnson is toppled, said Downing Street had not yet been given the findings of the Gray report but that it would come out very soon.

Asked about the claims that Johnson and his staff had partied at the heart of the British state while ordinary people were banned from even bidding farewell to their dying relatives in person, Truss said some of the reports were concerning.

“There clearly needs to be a change in culture,” Truss told the BBC. “We need to get the results of the report, we need to look at the results and fix the issues there are.”

Asked if she had leadership ambitions, Truss said Johnson, 57, had done a great job as prime minister by delivering Brexit and responding to the COVID pandemic. Truss said she was 100% supportive of Johnson.
 

spaminator

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Report criticizes lockdown parties at U.K. PM Boris Johnson's office
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
William James and Kylie Maclellan
Publishing date:Jan 31, 2022 • 19 hours ago • 2 minute read • 5 Comments
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks outside Downing Street in London, Jan. 12, 2022.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks outside Downing Street in London, Jan. 12, 2022. PHOTO BY HENRY NICHOLLS /REUTERS
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LONDON — An inquiry into COVID-19 lockdown-breaking parties at Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office and residence said on Monday some of these should not have taken place, and serious failures of leadership and judgment occurred at the heart of the British government.

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Johnson is facing the gravest threat to his premiership over the parties at Number 10 Downing Street, and the report by senior civil servant Sue Gray had the potential to trigger an end to his premiership.

However, parts of the report were not published due to an ongoing police investigation, which may allow Johnson to survive. He has so far weathered calls from opponents and some in his own party to resign by saying people needed to wait for the report.

“At least some of the gatherings in question represent a serious failure to observe not just the high standards expected of those working at the heart of government but also of the standards expected of the entire British population at the time,” Gray’s report said.

She also said the “excessive consumption of alcohol” at Downing Street was not appropriate.

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Gray was tasked with looking into what has become weeks of a steady drip of stories about events in Downing Street during the COVID-19 lockdown, with reports of aides stuffing a suitcase full of supermarket alcohol and dancing until the early hours.

Accounts of more than a dozen gatherings – including a “bring your own booze” party in the Downing Street garden – have provoked widespread public anger. Millions were kept apart from loved ones for months because of the restrictions and many were not able to say their final goodbyes to dying family members.

Her report said of 16 allegations of rule-breaking gatherings at Downing Street or other government offices, 12 were under investigation by police.

“As I have noted, a number of these gatherings should not have been allowed to take place or to develop in the way that they did,” she said in the report, entitled Investigation into Alleged Gatherings on Government Premises during COVID Restrictions – Update.

Opponents were critical of the limited nature of the report.

“This watered down update is utterly pointless,” said Ed Davey, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat party. “Everyone knows Boris Johnson broke the rules and lied to the country.”
 

spaminator

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Four aides quit as U.K.'s Boris Johnson seeks to reset beleaguered premiership
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Michael Holden and Kylie Maclellan
Publishing date:Feb 03, 2022 • 10 hours ago • 4 minute read • Join the conversation
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the Rutherford Diagnostic Centre in Taunton, England, Jan. 20, 2022.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the Rutherford Diagnostic Centre in Taunton, England, Jan. 20, 2022. PHOTO BY ANDREW MATTHEWS / POOL /REUTERS
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LONDON — Four of Boris Johnson’s closest aides resigned on Thursday in a turbulent day for his government, as the British prime minister tried to reset his administration in the face of a series of scandals that have put his position in peril.

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Johnson’s premiership is facing a growing crisis in the wake of anger over a series of alcohol-fueled parties held at his Downing Street office and residence during coronavirus lockdowns which followed other missteps.

Angry lawmakers in his own Conservative Party, some of whom have already called for his resignation, have demanded an overhaul of his Downing Street operation if he is to remain in power.

On Thursday, three of his top aides – Chief of Staff Dan Rosenfield, Principal Private Secretary Martin Reynolds, and Director of Communications Jack Doyle – all resigned in what some Conservative lawmakers (MPs) said looked like the start of a somewhat disorganized reset in Johnson’s administration.

However a fourth quit over a barb Johnson made at the leader of the main opposition Labour party, something for which his finance minister also criticized him.

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“On Monday Boris Johnson promised MPs change. Tonight we see that change starting to happen and I welcome this quick action by the prime minister,” lawmaker Stuart Anderson said on Twitter, one of a number of Johnson supporters who took to social media to applaud the shake-up.

Johnson pledged to change his leadership style after a report by senior civil servant Sue Gray into the gatherings held at his Downing Street office and residence condemned “serious failures of leadership.”

Rosenfield, Reynolds and Doyle were directly linked to the gatherings – Reynolds was reported to have sent an email asking attendees to “bring your own booze” to one.

Johnson’s office said Rosenfield and Reynolds would remain in their posts for the time being.

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Whether the clear out in Johnson’s top team will be enough to see off the crisis remains to be seen.

His personal ratings have plummeted and his party has fallen well behind Labour in opinion polls amid a series of scandals and gaffes. The police are still investigating 12 of the lockdown gatherings, and a more detailed report from Gray with potentially more damaging revelations could follow afterwards.

The political problems also come as British households face a cost of living squeeze with energy prices set to soar in April, while the Bank of England also raised interest rates again on Thursday.

Johnson, who won a massive majority for the Conservatives in a 2019 election, has also been condemned this week for accusing Labour leader Keir Starmer of failing to prosecute Jimmy Savile, one of Britain’s worst sex offenders, during his time as Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

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The false claim, which Starmer said amounted to Johnson “parroting the conspiracy theories of violent fascists,” has angered not only opponents but also some within his own party.

Johnson has declined to apologize but did back down from the comments on Thursday, saying “a lot of people have got very hot under the collar.”

“I’m talking not about the leader of the opposition’s personal record when he was … DPP and I totally understand that he had nothing to do personally with those decisions.”

However it failed to satisfy Munira Mirza, his head of policy who had worked with him for 14 years, and prompted her to quit her job, and also provoked criticism from finance minister Rishi Sunak.

“This was not the usual cut and thrust of politics; it was an inappropriate and partisan reference to a horrendous case of child sex abuse,” The Spectator magazine cited Mirza as saying in a letter to Johnson.

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“I hope you find it in yourself to apologize for a grave error of judgment made under huge pressure … It is not too late for you but, I’m sorry to say, it is too late for me.”

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks outside Downing Street in London, Jan. 12, 2022.
Report criticizes lockdown parties at U.K. PM Boris Johnson’s office
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves the Downing Street in London, Britain, January 26, 2022.
Boris Johnson refuses to resign over lockdown parties
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks outside Downing Street in London, Jan. 12, 2022.
British police investigating lockdown parties at PM Boris Johnson’s residence

Asked whether the prime minister should have apologized, Sunak, who along with foreign minister Liz Truss is considered a leading contender to replace Johnson should he be forced out, said: “Being honest, I wouldn’t have said it, and I am glad the prime minister clarified what he said.”

Savile, a celebrated TV and radio host, was never prosecuted despite a number of police investigations. After his death in 2011 at age 84, it was revealed he had abused hundreds of victims.

Starmer, who headed the Crown Prosecution Service at a time when Savile was being investigated, had no direct involvement in the case, but did later apologize for the failings.

Johnson said he was sorry to lose Mirza but rejected her assessment that his Starmer comments were inappropriate.

“Well I don’t agree with that,” he told 5 News.