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ITV News has released 4 new photos of Boris Johnson drinking at a Downing Street party on November 13, 2020 while the nationwide lockdown was in effect. The police have officially ended their investigation into the lockdown parties, issuing one small fine to Johnson, but the British press does not calm down and continues to undermine the prime minister’s reputation.
The police have known about this party for a long time, they studied the photographs in question, and, as it became known to the BBC, at least one participant in the event was fined, but this did not affect Boris Johnson.
Now, after the publication of ITV, the opposition has again launched an attack on the prime minister.
Deputy Labor leader Angela Rayner said that while Boris Johnson had previously repeatedly claimed that he knew nothing about violations of the lockdown rules, now no one doubts that he was lying.
Liberal Democrat spokeswoman Daisy Cooper said the photos clearly demonstrate that Johnson is “taking the British public for fools.” And Ian Blackford of the Scottish National Party called Johnson “a charlatan and a liar.” And, of course, the demands for his resignation again sounded.
At the time these photos of Johnson were taken, a second lockdown was in effect in England, under the rules of which it was against the law to gather indoors, but an exception was made for reasonable work necessity.
Numerous accusations against officials of organizing various kinds of parties in government offices during the lockdown led the police to investigate 12 such events at once and issue 126 fines last week. Boris Johnson and his wife also got it, who had to pay small fines for celebrating the prime minister’s birthday in June 2020, but this was the end of the matter.
Far more serious problems threaten the Prime Minister if colleagues in Parliament believe that he lied to them when he, in response to a question in the House of Commons, claimed that, in his opinion, no rules were violated during a Downing Street party. were. And although the police have no more questions for Johnson, the House of Commons Committee on Privileges continues to investigate whether Johnson misled his colleagues in Parliament. If the committee considers that it has introduced, then according to the rules they can be expected to resign.
Violated – did not violate, knew – did not know?
As BBC political commentator Helen Catt writes, at the center of the scandal surrounding the parties in government offices during the lockdown, there have always been two questions: whether the prime minister himself broke the law, and what he knew about the possible violation of the law by his subordinates.
The press service of the government rather arrogantly answered the journalists’ first question: the police saw the photos, but did not find any crime in them, so leave me alone.
With the second question, everything is somewhat more complicated. Some of the participants in the parties, which, judging by the photo, were attended by the prime minister, nevertheless received fines. So is he not pretending, claiming that from his point of view, all the rules were followed? It is his answers to parliament that will be subjected to careful analysis, and his political future will depend on the conclusions drawn.
But even if he manages to get away with it here, the emergence of new photographs like the current one could have an impact, predicts Helen Katt. It will not be interesting for someone, they say, as much as possible about the same thing, but someone can certainly completely lose confidence in the prime minister.