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“Partygate”: Boris Johnson on the defensive pending the end of an investigation | Coronavirus


Westminster is in the throes of a veritable war of nerves pending the conclusions of an internal investigation by senior civil servant Sue Gray into various outdoor receptions, farewell drinks or birthday parties in the circles of power.

These gatherings shocked the British, forced by law at the time to drastically restrict their contacts.

At the heart of intense speculation, the moment when this report will be published holds the British press in suspense: a time expected on Wednesday, it had still not been delivered when Parliament adjourned its session in the afternoon. According to Sky News, it might not be out until Monday.

Accused of lies and called for resignation during his weekly explanation session before the deputies, the 57-year-old Conservative leader refused to comment on the ongoing investigation and rejected any departure. He assured to focus on the economic recovery or the crisis in Ukraine, raising his voice in a stormy atmosphere.

Labor Party leader Keir Starmer accused him of despise the country and the Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, had to intervene on several occasions to maintain calm, in passing reprimanding a Labor MP who had called Boris Johnson a liar.

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Investigation of several events

Adding to the tension, the police also took up the case, announcing on Tuesday that they were investigating several events in order to establish whether there were potential violations of rules related to COVID-19, subject to fines.

Even within Boris Johnson’s conservative majority, anger is brewing. If he has so far escaped a vote of no confidence, which can be triggered at the request of 54 (out of 359) deputies from his camp, Boris Johnson remains in a very delicate position.

Some have already publicly called for his departure. Other slingers are waiting for the publication of Sue Gray’s report to decide whether or not to try to oust their leader. It remains to be seen whether it will be published in full, with photos, messages and testimonials, or in a lighter version.

In front of the deputies, Boris Johnson welcomed the opening of the police investigation on Tuesday, hoping that it will give the public the clarity they need and help put these issues behind us. According to his spokesperson, he will cooperate fully to these investigations.

They plunge him into a turmoil never seen since his triumphant accession to power in the summer of 2019, with plummeting popularity and openly hostile majority deputies.

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Hoping to bounce back, the Prime Minister announced the lifting of the last restrictions linked to COVID-19 from Thursday in an attempt to regain public favor in a country subject to long confinements and deeply bereaved by the pandemic that killed almost 155,000 people there.

Johnson “apologized”

But regularly, new revelations come to overwhelm the leader.

Latest: the organization of a party by his future wife Carrie in the hall of the council of ministers on the occasion of his birthday, June 19, 2020 in the afternoon, during the first confinement.

According to ITV, up to 30 people took part.

A news difficult to digest for the British who had complied with the rules. Queen Elizabeth II herself celebrated her 94th birthday discreetly on April 21, 2020, without her family.

The Prime Minister has apologized for what happened. He said mistakes had been made, defended it on Wednesday on Sky News its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Liz Truss.

The head of diplomacy added that it would not take long to know the conclusions of the report by Sue Gray.

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