(London) Pictures of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sharing a drink in Downing Street in 2020, in full confinement, have revived accusations of lies against him, ahead of the publication of a long-awaited report on Party Gate.
Posted at 9:47 am
These photos, published by ITV News, were taken on Monday evening, during a farewell party for Communications Chief Lee Kane on November 13, 2020, a few days after the announcement of the second confinement in England.
We see Boris Johnson raising his glass and talking to several people around a table with several bottles of wine and food.
This farewell drink has been the subject of a police investigation, as have other festive events organized in circles of power during the coronavirus pandemic, a scandal called Party Gate.
When asked in Parliament about the November rally, Boris Johnson confirmed that there had been no party on that date and that he was sure the rules had not been broken.
He was fined by police for attending a surprise birthday party on his 56th birthday in June 2020 in Downing Street, but was not punished for this parting drink, which has drawn criticism.
Labor deputy leader Angela Rayner said it was “surprising” that the Conservative leader had not been fined for gathering “which did not particularly look like work,” she told ITV.
According to Angela Rayner, the aggravating circumstances “Boris Johnson knew he broke the rules.” […] Yet he tried to get away with it. He tried to lie to the British public, he tried to lie to Parliament.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps defended Boris Johnson on Sky News. Describing the photos, Mr. Shapps said he felt Johnson “go downstairs on his way out of the office, thank the staff and raise his glass, not considering it a party”.
Added to these photos are statements by Downing Street employees describing to the BBC, on condition of anonymity, regular parties and, according to them, the tacit approval of Boris Johnson. One claimed that during a going party in November 2020, “there were about 30 people, if not more, in the room. Everyone was standing side by side, some people on each other’s knees.
The police investigation is now complete, and 126 fines have been issued for events that occurred on eight different dates, from May 20, 2020 to April 16, 2021.
But a report by Chief Civil Service Officer Sue Gray on “Party Gate” is expected in the coming days and could provide details and images of various events, providing a stinging for critics’ mill.
daily times Allegations that Boris Johnson pressured Sue Gray not to release the report, which a Downing Street spokesman denied on Tuesday.
A parliamentary inquiry will then be launched, aimed at determining whether Boris Johnson deliberately deceived MPs in the case, by repeatedly asserting in the House of Commons that all rules were respected.
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