There is ample evidence for Boris Johnson’s resign

Pictures emerge showing Boris Johnson drinking at No 10.

Pictures were released showing PM drinking at No ten leaving do during the lockdown in November 2020. ITV News’ Paul Brand has obtained photographs of Boris Johnson drinking at a Downing Street event that looks very much like a party. The pictures were taken at a leaving do for Lee Cain, the PM’s director of communications, on 13 November 2020. The images will fuel claims that Johnson was lying when he told MPs more than a year later that PM followed all the Covid guidance in Downing. There is ample evidence for Boris Johnson’s resign

Party game Earthquake shakes conservatives

While several lockdowns in the country were in place, gatherings took place at 10 Downing Street, its garden and other government buildings. These were first reported in late November 2021 and attracted media attention, public backlash and political controversy. In late January 2022, twelve gatherings came under investigation by the Metropolitan Police, including at least three attended by Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister. The police issued 126 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) to 83 individuals whom the police found had committed an offence under COVID-19 regulations, including one each to Johnson, his wife Carrie Johnson, and Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who all apologised and paid the penalties.

 

The scandal was already being investigated by senior civil servant Sue Gray. Her report is seen as central to whether members of Johnson’s Conservatives would continue to back him as a leader. According to reports in local media, that review could come within days after police did not object to its publication. Meanwhile, the police probe is another damaging development for the prime minister, who is already facing calls to Boris Johnson’s resign, even from within his party, and slumping poll numbers. Among the key issues are whether any of the events breached coronavirus rules when Johnson learned of the May 2020 BYOB party and whether he ignored concerns from some within his office about it. Johnson has also been accused of misleading Parliament, which would customarily be a resigning matter.

What recent photos of PM Boris Johnson revealed?

Many senior Conservative MPs have criticised Boris Johnson following leaked images said to show him at a party in Downing Street during the lockdown in 2020. The anger comes after ITV News on Monday revealed four leaked photos showing the prime minister raising a glass at a gathering next to a table full of empty bottles of wine. At the time, England was under a strict lockdown due to surging numbers of COVID cases following the emergence of the highly contagious Delta strain.

 

Mr Johnson‘s red box of official government papers is pictured balancing on a chair next to the PM as he addresses the group, with his arms wide and face expressive in one image and holding a drink in the air in another. The pictures were reportedly taken on 13 November 2020 at a leaving party for former Director of Communications Lee Cain, when Covid-19 rules prevented groups of people from different households from mixing indoors. A source present at the leaving drinks told me that Mr Johnson himself instigated the farewell drinks for Mr Cain.

 

Two weeks earlier, the PM had ordered a second strict lockdown in England due to rising Covid-19 cases.

At least seven other people are seen alongside Mr Johnson in one image, many also raising a glass. There were others reportedly out of shot. The revelations raise new questions about why the Metropolitan Police did not fine Mr Johnson for attending the event when other attendees are believed to have been handed a Fixed Penalty Notice. And the PM, who repeatedly denied the event broke Covid-19 laws, was accused of lying to Parliament – which is considered a resigning offence.

 

Is this scandal enough for Boris Johnson’s resign?

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced new calls for his resignation over a party he and his wife attended with Downing Street staff in May 2020, when the country was under lockdown. Johnson apologised for attending the event, which he said he thought was a work meeting, although rules in the UK noted households could only meet with one other person in outdoor settings. News that Johnson’s private secretary, Martin Reynolds, had sent an email to more than100 staffers, telling them to make the most of the summer weather and “bring your booze”, was leaked to ITV News, the latest in a series of alleged breaches of lockdown rules by the prime minister’s team.

 

Late last year, it was reported that members of his staff had attended a Christmas party in 2020 in breach of lockdown conditions at the time. The prime minister’s former advisor was forced to Boris Johnson’s resign after the leaked video where she could be seen joking about the alleged event. Coronavirus survivors’ groups expressed their anger.

 

The opposition Labour Party effectively hammered home the message that it’s been “one rule for them and another for everyone else under Johnson’s leadership.” On Wednesday, in the House of Commons, Johnson faced down furious calls to resign. But the apology did little to wave off calls to leave from opposition politicians, with the leader of the opposition Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, describing Johnson’s apology as “worthless.” “Well, there we have it,” Starmer said in a fiery exchange. “After months of deceit and deception, the pathetic spectacle of a man who has run out of road. His defence that he didn’t realise he was at a party is ridiculous that it’s offensive to the British public. He’s finally been forced to admit what everyone knew, that when the whole country was locked down, he was hosting boozy parties in Downing Street. Is he now going to do the decent thing and resign?”

Conclusion

As of yet, however, the prime minister remains in place. With a large majority in Parliament, whether or not he clings to power will depend on whether lawmakers within his own Conservative Party, many of whom are said to be disgruntled with his leadership, maintain their loyalty. The government has jumped to the Prime Minister’s defence, with UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps saying Boris Johnson was “not partying” in the photographs but was there in a work capacity. But the Labour Party says the latest leaked images will make it difficult for Boris Johnson to reconcile his statement to Parliament that no party had taken place on that day and called on Conservative Party MPs to remove him from office. Besides, London Mayor Sadiq Khan is among Opposition Labour leaders calling for an explanation from the Metropolitan Police why the UK Prime Minister was not handed a second fine for that particular party and only for a previous birthday party in June 2020.

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