Vomiting in the offices, fights between colleagues, excess alcohol and humiliation of security and cleaning workers Downing Street are part of the conclusions of a 37-page dossier that shook the UK Government this weekheaded by Boris Johnson.
(Read here: New evidence against Boris Johnson and his participation in the ‘Partygate’)
Although the scandal of ‘Partygate’ (the parties during the confinement attended by personnel close to the Government) has been hitting the British Executive for several weeks, the explosive findings of this long-awaited document once again increase criticism against Johnsonwho is reluctant to resign, and raise serious questions about his future.
(See also: Here’s what the UK ‘Partygate’ report reveals)
In total, the text details what happened in 16 celebrations that took place between May 20, 2020 and April 16, 2021, when the United Kingdom complied with strict anticovid measures to stop the spread of the virus in the country, which until now it leaves more than 178,000 dead in that nation.
In short, while many Britons were at home on strict orders from the authorities, a handful of officials were at the Downing Street premises partying.
Head of Investigations Sue Gray –a relentless British civil servant who is recognized in the country for her impeccable career– made a portrait of the culture that has prevailed in the headquarters of the Conservative Executive.
“The events that I have investigated were attended by government officials. Many of those events should not have been allowed. It also happens that some of the lower-ranking officials believed that their participation was allowed, given the presence of their bosses,” Gray writes in the report.
(Also read: ‘Partygate’: London concludes the investigation with 126 people fined)
The senior official also found that some of the staff had witnessed worrying behavior, without being able to report it. “I was informed of multiple examples of disrespect and mistreatment of security and cleaning employees. That is unacceptable,” she stresses.
“It is clear that several of these meetings took longer than necessary. They clearly broke and failed to comply with the rules (…) But I had no knowledge of what was happening”.
Although Gray clarified that his mission was never to carry out a criminal investigation by the leadership in Downing Street and the officials who work there in the residence, he does intend to evaluate ethical conduct in a context of unprecedented health crisis. In fact, she called on the administrative political leaders of the country to “take responsibility” for “leadership failures”.
Despite having disparate information about the different celebrations, Gray offers unusual details about some of those parties, such as the one held on June 19, 2020 at the Cabinet Ministry (equivalent to the Presidency), when a person ended up vomiting, it was recorded an altercation between two individuals and several attendees consumed “excessive alcohol.”
The celebration, which lasted until after three in the morning, was enlivened by songs from a karaoke system provided by one of the department’s highest-ranking leaders. Gray accessed cell phone messages exchanged between some of Johnson’s closest associates, including his private secretary, Martin Reynolds, who acknowledged to another adviser that they “get away with it” by hosting the holidays.
It is precisely Reynolds – who left the government in a purge in February – who comes out worst in the report, as it is shown that he was alerted by the then director of Communication, Lee Cain, that the celebrations represented a risk. However, the dossier also included several photographs in which Prime Minister Johnson can be seen participating in some events, smiling and raising a glass of wine in celebration.
Following the findings of the investigation, Johnson apologized to the country. In Parliament this week, the prime minister reiterated his apologies for his presence at her birthday party on June 19 – for which he has already been fined by police.
On the contrary, it seems that many Downing Street employees saw the situation as amusing. we weren’t laughing
The president assumed his “full responsibility”, but has ruled out resigning despite requests in certain sectors of the country. Johnson has tried to justify that when he said he didn’t go to the celebrations he was being truthful, because he didn’t know everything that happened behind his back.
British newspapers have harshly criticized the Government for this episode. Peter Walker, political correspondent for Guardianwrote an article claiming that Gray’s report paints Johnson as a cruise ship captain in charge, but over which he has no control, raising serious questions about his leadership.
“Ultimately, this leaves two options. One is that he misled (Johnson) the country when he said he didn’t know about the parties. The other implies that Johnson is so aloof, disassociated and peripheral that the office he allegedly heads became the most covid-19 rule-breaking address in England, while he remained unconscious,” Walker wrote.
His insistence that he did not lie to Parliament forms a fundamental part of his defence, since if the contrary is proven he would be forced to resign.
“It is clear that several of these meetings took longer than necessary. They clearly broke and broke the rules (…) But I had no knowledge of what happened next, simply because I was not there, and I am as surprised and disappointed as everyone else in this chamber, “he told the deputies.
The opposition, led by Labor Keir Starmer, spared no criticism for Johnson, who was once again unanimously asked to resign. Gray’s Report”lays bare the rot that under this prime minister has spread through number 10 (Downing Street)Starmer snapped.
So far, the Police have so far imposed some 126 fines on 83 people for eight parties. The prime minister and his wife, Carrie Johnson, as well as the finance minister, Rishi Sunak, received a single penalty of 50 pounds (about 65 dollars) for what appears to be the least important of the meetings, a party for his 56th birthday. birthday celebrated on June 19, 2020 in the room of the council of ministers.
With this scenario, since the beginning of the year, the British leader has been facing an internal rebellion in his ranks, which seeks to remove him as a result of this scandal, but the war in Ukraine served as an escape valve.
Still, the biggest threat to the prime minister comes from his own Conservative MPs, who are seeking to quell domestic discontent. If more than 54 Tory MPs request it by letter, Johnson would have to submit to a motion of no confidence in his own party.
The truth is that perhaps one of the greatest thermometers of public opinion is held by the citizens themselves. In the article ‘Sue Gray’s revelations are a hammer blow to all those who sacrificed so much’, readers of Guardian they express, through letters to that newspaper, their dissatisfaction with the findings.
“We don’t celebrate. We didn’t drink alcohol at work; we were lucky if we found time for tea. We continue in desperate circumstances because we care about our families. However, despite everything, covid-19 entered our house. On the contrary, it seems that many Downing Street employees saw the situation as amusing. We were not laughing”, Andrea Needham wrote in that newspaper, in an article published by readers.
#Partygate #scandal #continues #hit #Boris #Johnson