Boris Johnson still mired in ‘Partygate’ over new photos

by time news
Boris Johnson still mired in ‘Partygate’ over new photos

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces new charges of lying. Photos showing him sharing a drink at government headquarters, Downing Street, in 2020, in full confinement because of the Covid-19, have just been made public, just before the publication of a much awaited report on the so-called affair. of “Partygate”.

These photos published Monday evening by ITV News were taken during a farewell drink for the head of communications, Lee Cain, on November 13, 2020, a few days after the announcement of a second confinement in England. Boris Johnson raises his glass and chats with several people around a table on which are several bottles of wine and food.

This farewell drink has already been the subject of a police investigation, like other festive events organized in circles of power during the Covid-19 pandemic. Asked in Parliament about this rally, Boris Johnson assured that there had been no party on this date and that he was certain that the rules had not been broken.

He “thanks the staff and raises his glass”

He was fined by the police for attending a surprise birthday party for his 56th birthday in Downing Street but was not punished for the parting drink, which has revived criticism. Deputy Labor Party leader Angela Rayner said it was “astonishing” that the Tory leader had not been fined for the rally “which did not particularly look like work”, she told ITV. Aggravating circumstance, according to her, Boris Johnson “knew he had broken the rules (…) and yet he tried to get away with it. He tried to lie to the British public, and he tried to lie to Parliament.”

Transport Minister Grant Shapps defended Boris Johnson on SkyNews on Tuesday. Describing the photos, he said he felt “like he comes downstairs on his way out of the office, thanks the staff and raises his glass, and doesn’t see it as a party”.

The police investigation is now complete and a total of 126 fines have been issued for events that occurred on eight different dates, ranging from May 20, 2020 to April 16, 2021. But the publication of a report by senior civil servant Sue Gray on “Partygate” is expected in the coming days and could provide details and photos of the various events, adding grist to the mill for critics. A parliamentary inquiry will then begin, aimed at determining whether Boris Johnson knowingly deceived MPs in this affair, by repeatedly asserting in the House of Commons, the equivalent of the National Assembly, that all the rules had been respected.

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