British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said this afternoon that he was “furious” at the images shown in a video released on Tuesday: members of his Government celebrating a party a year ago, in the midst of heavy restrictions due to the pandemic.
What is already known as the ‘partygate’ has starred in the control session to the Government this Wednesday. The British president has apologized, and has assured to share the anger of the people. The country is experiencing an exponential increase in infections and a tightening of measures against the pandemic is not ruled out.
In this context, the leak of the video has unleashed a strong political controversy. Johnson has stated in the House of Commons that the Cabinet secretary has launched an investigation into what happened. Opposition leader, Labor Keir Starmer, has claimed that Johnson has spent this week telling the country that there was no party and that now millions of people know that the prime minister has taken them for fools and lied to them.
A video released on Tuesday by the British media shows that the United Kingdom Government held a Christmas party a year ago, amid the strong social restrictions in force at that time, despite the fact that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted on that the anticovid rules were not broken.
A mock press conference
The images, revealed by the ITV channel, show the then government spokesperson, Allegra Stratton, participating in a mock press conference –without journalists present– in which she is questioned by officials in a jocular way about the “party” she had. place four days earlier, on December 18, 2020, in Downing Street.
“I went home …”, laughs Stratton. The official insists and asks if the prime minister approves the celebration of Christmas parties at the headquarters of the Executive, to which the spokesperson replies: “And what do I answer to that?”
“This fictitious party was a work meeting … and there was no social distance,” adds jocosa Stratton before the complicity of the officials who played the role of journalists in the press conference rehearsal.
The existence of the party was already known after it was revealed a few days ago by the newspaper ‘Daily Mirror’, but the video that demonstrates its celebration and the jokes that high government officials made about it have ignited the British media and to the opposition.
According to the ‘Sky News’ channel, the London Metropolitan Police has said that it is reviewing the leaked video for if it could show the commission of some violation of the rules of social isolation.
“Our policy is usually not to investigate retrospective violations of the regulations against COVID-19, but this video will be part of our considerations,” said the police force.
In a withering reaction, Labor leader Keir Starmer has called on Johnson to “confess and apologize.” “People across the country followed the rules even when they involved being separated from their families, confined and, tragically for many, unable to say goodbye to their loved ones. They had a right to expect the government to do the same,” he said . For Starmer, “lying and laughing at those lies is shameful.”