Boris Johnson Revealed To Have Attended Christmas Leaving Party In Fresh Blow To Leadership
Boris Johnson is said to have attended a leaving party for one of his staff members while the UK was under lockdown on the run-up to Christmas 2020.
The prime minister has been under fire following a series of accusations about illegal gatherings and parties which took place at Downing Street while the rest of the country was following stringent restrictions, prompting him to admit last week there were ‘things [the government] simply didn’t get right.’
Johnson has been pictured at what appears to be a gathering in the Downing Street garden as well as accused of attending a ‘bring your own booze’ party while restrictions limited members of the public to meeting only in pairs, and the accusations continue this week with the news of the leaving party for defence adviser Captain Steve Higham.
According to The Mirror, Johnson was at the party ‘for a few minutes to thank him for his service’ as a ‘small number of Number 10 staff briefly said goodbye’.
The PM is said to have given a speech at the event, though the Ministry of Defence declined to comment on the matter.
It’s unclear exactly when the leaving party took place, but in a coronavirus press conference on December 19, 2020, Johnson told the public ‘ the situation [had] deteriorated’ since he last spoke three days prior.
Worsening figures prompted the government to move parts of London, the South East and the East of England into tier 4, which required residents to ‘stay at home’, and ruled ‘individuals can only meet one person from another household in an outdoor public space.’
At the time, Johnson added: ‘As prime minister, it is my duty to take the difficult decisions, to do what is right to protect the people of this country.’
News of the leaving party comes after doubts were raised about Johnson’s claim that he thought the ‘bring your own booze’ party was a ‘work event’, with Sunday Times columnist Dominic Lawson claiming at least two people had warned the PM the email invite from Martin Reynolds made clear it was a party and that it should have been stopped.
Lawson cited ‘a former Downing Street official’ who told Johnson the party ‘should be immediately cancelled’, adding: ‘I was told that Johnson’s dismissive response was to say they were ‘overreacting’ and to praise Reynolds as ‘my loyal Labrador”.
In response to the claims, Downing Street said it ‘is untrue that the Prime Minister was warned about the event in advance’, adding that he ‘believed implicitly that this was a work event.’
An inquiry into events at Downing Street is currently underway.
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Topics: News, Boris Johnson, Downing Street, government, lockdown, Now, party, prime minister