UK’s Johnson faces Parliament test over lockdown party claim

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing a high-stakes demonstration in parliament that could help ease the crisis over claims that he and his staff broke coronavirus lockdown rules – or fanned the flames even further. gave air

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Opponents and allies alike want Johnson to be clear about whether he attended a gathering in May 2020, when Britain was under a strict lockdown imposed by Johnson to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Johnson has so far declined to comment on reports he was in the garden of his Downing Street residence to “bring your own wine”.

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The invitation to the “socially-distanced drinks” gathering was emailed to around 100 people by a senior aide of the prime minister. At that time people in Britain were prohibited by law from meeting more than one person outside their home.

Johnson has said before that he personally did not break any lockdown rules, but his difficulties are increasing.

Opposition Labor deputy leader Angela Rainer said Johnson’s refusal to say whether he was at the May 2020 party was “astonishing”.

“People are thinking about what happened to them in May and many people are still grieving for their loved ones whom they couldn’t say goodbye to at the time, and to think that the prime minister was laughing. Were and were partying. Just unforgivable,” she told the BBC.

Rainer said if Johnson “lied to the British public, lied to Parliament and he attended parties during the lockdown, his position is untenable.”

The scandal, dubbed “Partygate”, has become the biggest crisis in Johnson’s two-and-a-half years in power. During the UK’s first lockdown, which began in March 2020 and lasted more than two months, almost all gatherings were banned. Millions were cut off from friends and family, and even barred from visiting relatives who died in hospitals.

So there is widespread anger over claims that Johnson’s Conservative government flouted rules imposed in the rest of the country by holding garden parties, Christmas get-together and office quiz nights in Downing Street, which is the prime minister’s home and his home. Office is both. ,

Opposition leaders are calling for Johnson’s resignation. Of greater concern for the prime minister is that many members of his own party are concerned about Johnson’s decisions and leadership.

The Conservatives chose Johnson as leader in 2019 for his spirited manner and popular touch, a choice that propelled the party to a major election victory in December of that year.

But discontent over persistent pandemic restrictions is eroding support in the party, which some conservatives see as harsh. He is also facing unease about his decision after several financial and moral misconduct allegations against himself and his government.

The Conservatives have a history of ousting leaders if they become a liability – and a recent surprise defeat in a by-election for a district the party has held for more than a century has increased their panic. .

Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood said Johnson needed to apologise and “show some remorse” to ride out the storm.

“We can’t let things flow, it’s not an option,” he told Sky News.

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