Boris Johnson trapped again by the “partygate” in the UK

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Westminster Abbey in London on March 29, 2022.

Boris Johnson has not finished with the “partygate” scandal, overshadowed for a month by the war in Ukraine. The twenty fines handed out by the police in Greater London (Scotland Yard), on Tuesday, March 29, place this story of parties organized in Downing Street in full confinement at the forefront of British political news. It is true that the police have not said whether the prime minister himself has been fined; they are only in their first round of sanctions, others are expected to follow. But the fact that it has established clear violations of health regulations within the National Executive worries Downing Street and gives renewed arguments to the opposition parties.

Let’s remember the facts: after a series of media revelations, Scotland Yard announced in January that it was investigating twelve “events” that occurred in Downing Street and Whitehall (the ministerial district) between May 2020 and April 2021, in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic, when the British were confined or banned from gatherings of more than two or six people. Among the most documented events: a booze party was held in Downing Street Gardens on May 20, 2020, and another equally boozy party took place the day before Prince Philip’s funeral in April 2021. Boris Johnson attended half a dozen of these rallies, but still claimed, the 1is December 2021, in the House of Commons: “They assured me that no rules were broken and that there were no parties. »

read also Article reserved for our subscribers A year of drifting at 10 Downing Street

“The prime minister said [à l’époque] their understanding of events.A Downing Street spokesman reacted on Tuesday. As for acknowledging that parties have indeed been held despite health regulations, “It’s up to the police to draw conclusions, not the prime minister”, he added. The Labor Party, the main opposition party, took the opportunity to renew its calls for resignation: ” Culture [au sein de Downing Street] it comes from above It is the Prime Minister who is responsible, he is the one who spent months lying to his fellow citizens, that is why he must go. It is disgraceful that the Boris Johnson government acted as if the rules did not apply to it, when the rest of the country followed them.’ lamented Angela Rayner, deputy leader of the Labor Party.

With war, a bonus for the leader instead

Is Boris Johnson’s mandate in danger again? As the general elections are not scheduled before 2024, the danger for the leader, since the beginning of the “partygate”, has come less from the opposition parties than from his own camp. The Conservative Party does indeed have a chance to introduce it, provided that at least a quarter of the Conservative MPs in the House of Commons (ie 54) demand a vote of confidence and win it. However, since the start of the war in the Ukraine, the desire for change within the Tories has diminished considerably. Some, like Douglas Ross, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, one of the first to dissociate himself from the prime minister and ask for his departure, in January, even made it known that he was withdrawing his request for a vote of confidence.

You have 46.72% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.

Leave a Comment