British Prime Minister Boris Johnson celebrated his birthday on June 19, 2020 with a party in Downing Street attended by around 30 people, despite indoor social gatherings being banned at the time due to the coronavirus pandemic. , revealed today the ITV channel.
The wife of the head of government, Carrie Johnson, helped organize a “surprise” celebration that took place in the Cabinet Room, where the chief executive and his ministers meet periodically, according to the chain.
The new revelation increases the pressure on Johnson, who has been on the tightrope for days due to the series of social events that have been held in Downing Street and other government departments during the pandemic.
A spokesman for Johnson’s official office told the press that “a group of employees who were working at number 10 (Downing Street) that day gathered briefly in the Cabinet Room after a meeting to wish the Prime Minister a happy birthday.” .
The conservative president “was there less than ten minutes,” said that spokesman.
The ITV network maintains, however, that the interior designer Luly Lytle, who participated in the decoration of the Johnson couple’s apartment but was not a government employee, was also present at the event.
In its description of the meeting, the channel indicates that the attendees consumed “picnic food” purchased in a supermarket and were together for about 20 or 30 minutes.
He also assures that that same night the prime minister received “friends of the family” in his official apartment, which would also contravene the regulations in force at the time to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Downing Street stressed that this information is “totally false”. “In line with the rules at the time, the prime minister received a small number of relatives abroad that night,” said Johnson’s official spokesman.
The opposition leader, Labor Keir Starmer, again called on Johnson to resign, in favor of the “national interest”.
“Public opinion has already concluded that (Johnson) broke the rules and he hasn’t told the truth about it. That means he doesn’t have the authority to lead the country,” Starmer said.
The latest episode of the saga known in the United Kingdom as “Partygate” -in reference to the political scandal of Watergate in the United States in the 1970s-, has come to light the same week in which the conclusions of a report on parties during the pandemic.
The senior official Sue Gray is at the forefront of the investigations, commissioned by the Executive itself, in which, among others, Dominic Cummings, former right-hand man of the prime minister who fell out of favor and was fired in November 2020, has testified in writing.
Cummings has accused Johnson of lying to Parliament about his knowledge of a Downing Street garden celebration in May of that year.
The chief executive assures that he attended the event because he thought it was a “work meeting”, while his former adviser assures that he was warned that it was going against the restrictions due to the pandemic.