Johnson says lesson learned after pandemic party scandal

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson acknowledged responsibility for illegal parties during the pandemic Parties in the buildings of the British government during the lockdown in 2020 became the reason for the investigation. The British prime minister acknowledged the responsibility for participating in them and declared “lessons learned” jpg” alt=”Johnson says lesson learned after pandemic party scandal” />

Boris Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is taking full responsibility for hosting alcohol parties during the lockdown in 2020, when such gatherings were banned by anticovid. legislation. The British Prime Minister stated this while speaking at a hearing in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

Earlier, on May 25, the final results of the investigation into the facts of such parties, which was conducted by the Deputy Head of the Chancellery of the Government of the country, Sue Gray, were published in Britain.

“The findings of the investigation led to changes in the work at Downing Street [at the Prime Minister's residence]. <…> I accept the results of the investigation and have learned the lessons. I would like to reiterate my apologies for what happened. I take full responsibility for everything that happened before my eyes,»,— said the prime minister.

According to him, the report “clearly states that some of the meetings took much longer than necessary, and in clear violation of the rules.” However, Johnson said he believed he was attending workshops.

Sue Gray's 37-page report, with several photographs, describes parties that took place in government buildings and government offices in London.

The main facts of the report:

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson brought wine and cheese to a meeting with staff in the residence's garden on May 15, 2020;
  • during a party on May 20, 2020 year, an adviser to the prime minister’s office warned guests not to “walk around with bottles of wine”; before the meeting;
  • an invitation to a May 20, 2020 party was sent out to 200 members of the Prime Minister's Office by Martin Reynolds, Johnson's former private secretary;
  • Lee Kane, then head of public relations in the Premier's office, warned key officials that the party was a reputational threat as the country was under lockdown;
  • After the party, Reynolds sent a message saying “Looks like we got away with it”;
  • Former Ethics Officer Helen McNamara provided a karaoke machine for a government office meeting on June 18;
  • at a meeting on June 18, many participants became ill from the amount of alcohol they drank, two of them got into an altercation;
  • security officers and cleaners encountered “unacceptable” address during parties;
  • Downing Street staff were told to leave the building after the 15 December pre-Christmas quiz through the back door due to extreme intoxication;
  • another party was held at Downing Street On April 16, 2021, the eve of Prince Philip's funeral, the last participant left the party at 4:20 am.

The British media reported in December 2021 that the prime minister's office staff were holding parties at a time when the lockdown was in effect in the country. The Guardian newspaper published photos of Johnson and his wife surrounded by several civil servants in Downing Street in May 2020, there were also reports of a party held in December of that year.

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At the end of January 2022, a government commission released the first report on events that exceeded the quota of the number of participants, including on Johnson's birthday on June 19, 2020 and before Christmas, held at his residence at the height of the pandemic. After that, the police launched an investigation, as a result of which fines were issued to Johnson, the head of the British Treasury, Rishi Sunak, and about 50 other participants in such meetings.

April 12, Johnson apologized for holding parties and said that he paid the issued fine, not naming the amount. However, Johnson then stated that “it never occurred to him that this could break the rules,” and the event was not a party, but a gathering of employees.

Due to the party scandal, the approval rating of the work the prime minister fell to a record low, but he himself said that he was not going to resign.

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