It is an embarrassing image. the Guardian published, Sunday December 19, a photo of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, with about fifteen people in the garden at 10 Downing Street. The snapshot is dated May 15, 2020. However, at that time, the UK was confined and gatherings were limited to just two people.
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office explained that “Business meetings are often held in Downing Street Garden during the summer months. This time there were team meetings after a press conference at 10 [Downing Street] ».
An assertion which is allowed to doubt, underlines the Guardian, if we take a closer look at the image: bottles of wine and cheese platters are placed on the low tables; the nineteen people present are gathered in small groups without respecting social distancing; Boris Johnson can also be seen alongside his wife Carrie, who appears to be holding their newborn baby in her arms.
“Downing Street is the Prime Minister’s residence as well as his place of work. The Prime Minister’s wife lives at number 10 and it is therefore legitimate that she uses the garden ”, also justified the spokesperson of the cabinet.
NEW: Downing Street staff and Boris Johnson pictured drinking wine in the No 10 garden last May when the rest of th… https://t.co/58lsM0jIfm
Deputy Leader of the Labor Party Angela Rayner called the photo “Slap in the face” of the British, adding: “The Prime Minister constantly shows us that he has no respect for the rules he puts in place for others. He would have drunk and partied until late in the evening [au 10 Downing Street] while the rest of us were only allowed a daily walk until recently. “
The publication of this photo concludes a particularly trying week for Mr Johnson: David Frost, his staunch Brexit Secretary of State, tendered his resignation on Saturday, December 18, amid difficult negotiations with the European Union (EU) on the implementation of the Northern Irish protocol were unsuccessful.
“Between forty and fifty people crowded together”
The British Prime Minister has also suffered this week a sling from his camp about measures to fight against Covid-19, then the loss of a Conservative stronghold during a by-election in England. Finally, Boris Johnson has been targeted in recent weeks by a series of articles evoking the non-compliance with health restrictions in circles of power last year.
November 30, Daily Mirror revealed that in December 2020, holiday celebrations were held with impunity in Downing Street, just as the Prime Minister called on his fellow citizens to forgo their family feasts. According to Daily Mirror, which cites government sources, December 18, 2020, “Between forty and fifty people were crammed on top of each other in a medium-sized room” in Downing Street. The BBC, which obtained confirmation of this party, states that there were ” drinks, food and games ”- a quiz and a Secret Santa – and the party lasted “Until after midnight”.
On December 18, the country recorded 514 deaths linked to Covid-19, and the London region had just gone on high alert: indoor gatherings with people outside its home were prohibited. On December 19, Boris Johnson tightened the rules even further by asking his fellow citizens to give up the Christmas holidays for good.
These articles angered voters. Under fire from critics, Mr. Johnson announced Wednesday, December 8, an internal investigation and apologized after the release of a video appearing to confirm that the Christmas party had taken place.
Watched by millions, the video shows her then publicist Allegra Stratton, along with colleagues, preparing answers to hypothetical questions from journalists about a Christmas party in Downing Street on December 18. A colleague asks him: “We have seen tweets that there was a Christmas party on Friday night, do you confirm this information? “ Allegra Stratton laughs: ” I’m back home “, before responding “Uh, uh… what’s the answer?” “
A colleague then suggests that “It was not a party, but a [soirée] cheese and wine “, before adding: ” No, I’m joking. “ Mme Stratton then evokes “A business meeting” and declares, in a joking tone: “This imaginary party was a business meeting, and there was no physical distancing. “
Faced with the political storm, the press secretary submitted her resignation, in tears, after apologizing and explaining that she would regret ” all [sa] live these words ”.
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Embarrassing new photo for Boris Johnson drinking wine at festive 2020 containment reunion