British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is heavily criticized in the government’s report on the “Partygate” affair. Internal investigator Sue Gray repeated her allegations that Downing Street had failed in leadership and judgment in her report released on Wednesday.
Gray had investigated several Downing Street lockdown parties where corona rules had been broken. The report had been eagerly awaited.
“The events I studied were attended by government leaders,” Gray wrote. “Many of these events should not have been allowed.” Employees assumed that their participation was allowed because leading politicians were also present. The leadership must bear the responsibility, demanded Gray.
The events fell far short of the expected standards. There was some “excessive alcohol consumption”. Many people are “dismayed” by the behavior at the heart of the government, the official wrote.
Johnson wanted to comment on the report in Parliament at noon. The PA news agency reported that he would “take full responsibility for my mistakes” without citing sources. He learned from his mistakes.
The police have now imposed a total of more than 120 penalties on dozens of participants, including Johnson in one case, for violating the rules.
Eyewitnesses reported in advance of weekly parties
Eyewitnesses had previously raised serious allegations immediately before the expected publication of the investigation report. In London’s Downing Street, there were invitations to meetings with alcohol every Friday during the corona lockdown, the BBC quoted several anonymous employees as saying on Wednesday. Empty bottles and the remains of food deliveries were still lying around the next morning.
According to consistent media reports, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already received the full investigative report on the “Partygate” affair in advance. Several copies of the report by top official Sue Gray had been handed in Downing Street, the Sky News broadcaster and the Daily Mirror newspaper reported on Wednesday. Johnson was expected to comment on the matter in Parliament around midday.
The opposition and some MPs from Johnson’s Conservative Party are calling for the prime minister to resign. The 57-year-old has ruled this out so far. Johnson also received support on Wednesday: This was not a key moment for the PM, Tory MP Charles Walker told the BBC. On the contrary: Johnson is past the worst.
Most recently, photos of a meeting at the government seat on November 13, 2020 appeared. You can see Johnson raising a glass and apparently toasting the others present. Nobody wears a mask, there are several open bottles on a table. According to the BBC, around 30 to 40 people were crowded together in a room. Johnson himself poured alcohol for his employees. At the time, private gatherings were prohibited. London police had fined several attendees for the event, but not Johnson.