LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson came under fire Tuesday after it was revealed that his private secretary invited over 100 people to a ‘bring your own liquor’ party in the Downing Street garden during the country’s first coronavirus lockdown.
Johnson, who won a landslide victory in the 2019 election, came under scrutiny last month after a video surfaced of his staff laughing and joking at a party on Downing Street during a 2020 Christmas lockdown.
Revelations about a number of parties on Downing Street, the residence and the prime minister’s office have sparked public ridicule and criticism of Labor opposition leader Keir Starmer, who said Johnson lacks the moral authority to run the country to lead.
Johnson and his partner Carrie were among those who met on Jan.
“After an incredibly busy time, we thought it would be nice to take advantage of the fine weather and have some socially distant drinks in the No10 garden tonight,” Reynolds said in the email.
“Please come to us from 6 p.m. and bring your own schnapps!”
At the time of the gathering, schools were closed to most students and pubs and restaurants were closed, with social mixing being tightly controlled. People were prevented from personally saying goodbye to dying loved ones.
Police tracked people at parties, set up random checkpoints in some areas and used drones to monitor beauty spots in Derbyshire, Central England.
The UK death toll from the Covid-19 pandemic is 150,154, the seventh worst official number in the world after the United States, Brazil, India, Russia, Mexico and Peru.
Johnson’s office declined to comment on the ITV report. NBC News has not independently obtained or verified the authenticity of the email.
A senior government official, Sue Gray, is currently investigating allegations made by at least five parties held in government departments during lockdown restrictions last year.
When asked about the reports on the Downing Street parties, Johnson told Parliament last month that all Covid guidelines had been followed and no rules had been violated.
Political opponents said that if Johnson had attended a party during a lockdown, his position would be a threat, as such a revelation would show a pattern of disdain for the rules.
“That feels like it’s part of the prime minister’s character, which is: he thinks he can get away with things and he’s sending the message to his entire government that the rules don’t apply to us, only to everyone else. ”“ said Ed Miliband, a former Labor Party leader.
In the past few months, Johnson, 57, has been criticized for handling a Sleaze scandal, winning lucrative Covid contracts, renovating his Downing Street apartment, and a report intervening to ensure pets were kept during the western withdrawal from Kabul were evacuated August.
Edward Argar, a junior health secretary, said he understood the pain the reports of the parties would cause, especially for people who had lost family and friends.
But he told Sky News that it would be inappropriate for him to speak up during the investigation.
London police, who previously refused to investigate reports of lockdown meetings by government officials, said Monday they were in contact with the cabinet office over alleged health law violations on Downing Street.