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“PartyGate” at 10 Downing Street: despite the scandals, Boris Johnson rules out resigning


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson once again ruled out on Wednesday resigning in the face of the scandal of repeated parties organized in Downing Street during periods of strict confinement.

Johnson in the hot seat? London police announced on Tuesday the opening of an investigation into the alleged illegal parties held at 10 Downing Street during the Covid-19 lockdowns, following yet another revelation in the “partygate”. which dangerously weakens Boris Johnson.

The British Prime Minister’s office has been keen to downplay an embarrassing new piece of information from ITV: the organization of a birthday party in his honor in June 2020, which is in addition to a series of disastrous leaks about the holding of several events in his official residence, while gatherings were strictly prohibited.

“I confirm that the Metropolitan Police are investigating several events which have taken place in Downing Street and Whitehall over the past two years in relation to potential breaches of the rules relating to COVID-19,” Chief Constable Cressida Dick said. , at a meeting of the Greater London assembly.

Compliance with protocol

Boris Johnson welcomed these investigations before Parliament, believing that they would give “public opinion the necessary clarity and [d’]help close the case”.

A spokesperson for the head of the British government stressed that the latter did not consider that he had breached the health protocols imposed at the time.

The ITV channel reported on Monday that a birthday party for “Bojo” had gathered up to thirty people in the council chamber at 10 Downing Street, office and official residence of the Head of Government in London.

“A group of staff working at No 10 (Downing Street) that day gathered briefly in the council chambers after a meeting to wish the Prime Minister a happy birthday. was present for less than ten minutes,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in response to ITV.

Attendees offered a birthday cake to Boris Johnson in the presence of his future wife Carrie, but it was a surprise and nothing had been prepared in advance by the Prime Minister, the transport minister said, Grant Shapps on Sky News on Tuesday.

Johnson acknowledges mistakes

“I understand the feeling of concern about this information that we see in the headlines,” he acknowledged, adding that “mistakes have been made”.

For several weeks, press articles detailing the many breaches of containment in Downing Street in 2020 and 2021 have weighed on the popularity rating of the head of government.

Boris Johnson has defended himself publicly on several occasions by saying he did not break any rules while apologizing to the British people.

The report of an internal investigation led by senior Cabinet Office official Sue Gray is due this week but its publication could be delayed by the police investigation. The Cabinet Office said its investigations were continuing and it was in constant contact with London police.

The police did not give a timetable for their investigations. “With this investigation, the nightmare is getting worse,” curator David Davis said on Twitter.

“I ask the House (of Commons) to await the conclusions of the investigation (from the Cabinet office) and that the police complete their work”, declared the “general paymaster” (treasurer-paymaster general) Michael Ellis.

Ordered to resign

Opposition Labor leader Keir Starmer again called for the Prime Minister’s resignation ‘who thinks the rules he has set don’t apply to himself’. He also accuses him of having changed his version several times on the controversial rallies.

Boris Johnson would be threatened with having to resign if 54 of the 360 ​​Conservatives who sit in the House of Commons took the initiative of each writing a letter of defiance to the chairman of the “1922 committee”, a group of Tory parliamentarians.

This threshold has not yet been crossed, several elected Conservatives saying they want to wait for the results of the internal investigation. Questioned in the House of Commons, the head of government on the other hand agreed that the ministers who knowingly lied before Parliament about this “partygate” should leave their functions.


The latter once again ruled out, Wednesday, January 26, to resign in the face of the scandal. Boris Johnson replied: “No” to the question of whether he intended to resign.