Downing Street – Johnson under pressure over lockdown parties

Downing Street – Johnson under pressure over lockdown parties
Downing Street – Johnson under pressure over lockdown parties

On Friday, for the second time this week, Johnson felt compelled to apologize for parties at his official residence – but this time even directly to the Queen. The events are met with less and less understanding among political opponents, but also in their own ranks. Calls for resignation are getting louder.

“It is deeply unfortunate that this happened at a time of national mourning,” a spokesman for Johnson told reporters. They apologized to the palace. The spokesman added Johnson was at Checkers Manor on said day of celebrations, April 16, 2021. He was also not invited to any meeting. Only on Wednesday did the prime minister apologize in parliament for attending a garden party that took place in May 2020 in the midst of the first corona lockdown.

According to the “Telegraph”, the celebrations in April 2021 must have been boisterous. Employees are said to have bought large quantities of alcohol in a nearby supermarket, music was played on a laptop and a swing belonging to Johnson’s son was broken. All this is said to have taken place, although at the time there were limits on gatherings of people from different households due to the pandemic. It is also particularly precarious that the nation mourned Queen Elizabeth II for her husband, who died at the age of 99. The day after the Downing Street parties, the Queen bid farewell to her husband of 73 years at St George’s Chapel. Because of the corona restrictions, she sat alone in a row of pews in the church.

Because of the blown parties, Johnson is in one of the worst crises of his tenure. This is already overshadowed by several other scandals, such as the use of donations to renovate Johnson’s office. While the opposition has long been calling for his resignation, members of the Conservative Party are increasingly moving away from Johnson, fearing that their voters will punish them on their behalf. “Unfortunately, the prime minister’s position has become untenable,” said Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen, a former Johnson supporter. “The time has come to leave the stage.”

The scandals also had a negative impact on the ruling Conservative Party in polls. A survey by the opinion research institute Savanta ComRes increased the lead of the opposition Labor Party over Johnson’s Tories to ten percentage points. In the poll, Labor got 42 percent (up five percentage points), the Conservatives at 32 percent (down one percentage point). 70 percent of the 2,151 respondents were in favor of Johnson’s resignation. The next general election will take place in 2024.

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