New photos of a drink in Downing Street during a strict corona lockdown once again leave British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in need of explanation.
ITV News broadcaster Monday night published photos of communications chief Lee Cain’s farewell party on November 13, 2020, just days after Britain’s second lockdown was announced. Johnson can be seen speaking to several people around a table and raising his glass. There are several bottles of wine and food on the table.
The farewell party, along with other parties in the government district during the Corona pandemic, was already part of a police investigation into the “Partygate” scandal. Johnson had been asked about November 13 in Parliament and said that there was no celebration on that date and that he was sure that the Corona rules had not been violated.
As a result of the police inquiry, the Prime Minister had been fined for attending a surprise 56th birthday party at Downing Street. However, there was no fine for the meeting on November 13.
Speaking to ITV, Deputy Labor Party leader Angela Rayner described it as “amazing” that the Conservative leader did not have to pay a fine for a meeting “that didn’t look particularly like work”.
Johnson said he “knew he was breaking the rules” and still tried to get out of the affair. “He tried to lie to the British public and he tried to lie to Parliament,” Rayner explained.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps defended Johnson. He “has the impression that he (Johnson) comes out of the office, thanks the employees and raises his glass,” Shapps told SkyNews about his assessment of the new photos. He doesn’t see this as a celebration.
The police investigation into “Partygate” has now been completed. A total of 126 fines were imposed, affecting eight dates between May 20, 2020 and April 16, 2021.
The release of senior official Sue Gray’s report is expected to be released in the coming days. It could contain new details and photos of the various events – and grist to the mill of Johnson’s critics.