The new tile on the head of the British premier a party in May 2020, in full lockdown: Bring the bottle, it was the invitation. One hundred guests, including Johnson and his wife Carrie Symonds
Now Boris really in trouble. The Partygate , the scandal of the parties in Downing Street in full lockdown, is unloading on him like a hurricane: and the latest revelations call directly into question the prime minister. The new tile on Johnson’s head is an email from his private secretary on May 20, 2020, with which over a hundred people were invited to a party in the Downing Street garden “to take advantage of the pleasant weather”: “Bring the bottle!”, concluded the message. Britain was in lockdown at the time and it was allowed to meet no more than one person in the open, moreover by keeping two meters away: rules that had just been reiterated at a government press conference that day.
Let alone then organize a garden party: so much so that even some Downing Street officials had reacted with perplexity to the invitation, replying but are they serious?. Worst of all, the booze party would have attended Boris himself with his then girlfriend Carrie: and pressed on the issue, the premier has avoided denying (because evidently he cannot).
The result that now Scotland Yard investigates the matter, which has already contacted government offices.
But the one indicted is only the latest party we know of: last December, at least five other parties had emerged held in Downing Street between November and December of 2020, when anti-Covid regulations forbade it. And particular embarrassment, if not horror, had aroused the video of the then spokesperson for Boris, Allegra Stratton, who was giggling about clandestine parties at No. 10 (she immediately owed dset before Christmas).
Partygate is a scandal that is destroying the credibility of the government and Johnson in particular, already mined in the last few weeks from other behavior to say the least casual: from the attempt to protect a Conservative deputy accused of illicit lobbying of the revelations about the renovation of the private Downing Street apartment, paid for by a party donor. The feeling is that of an establishment that practices a double standard: one rule applies to the people, another to the powerful. But when people’s lives are at stake, such as during the Covid emergency, chilling behavior is more than a slip of taste.
British public opinion has begun to take notice. Johnson’s popularity plummeted and Labor has largely overtaken the Conservatives in the polls: just before Christmas, the premier’s party was defeated in an important by-election, losing a seat it had held for two centuries.
With the new year, Boris hoped to put the controversy behind him and relaunch himself thanks to the newfound optimism about the pandemic, which has entered a phase of remission: but now everything is back to square one. And they are also taking note of it within the conservatives. The reactions in the party in the face of these latest revelations are furious and the opinion emerges that the Johnson government is now directionless, capable only of shuffling from one fool to another. It is therefore no mystery that the race for the succession of Boris has already started widely: the two main challengers are Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, and Foreign Minister, Liz Truss. The conservative relationship with Johnson has always been pragmatic: he was chosen as the leader only because he was able to win the election. In the current climate, the decisive appointment becomes the administrative of May: if the Tories go badly, as feared, in all probability Boris will be accompanied to the door.