British tabloids, normally akin to the Conservative government, have harshly criticized Boris Johnson and his team for the so-called ‘partygate’ scandal.
Outraged by the double standards that the Johnson Executive seems to apply when announcing new restrictions due to the increase in infections in the country, while denying the celebration of the Downing Street Christmas party in 2020, the newspapers have filled their covers with satire and irony .
Especially striking is the cover of The Sun in which a Boris Johnson in the appearance of the Grinch (a creature who hates Christmas parties) occupies the entire page under the headline “Do what I tell you … not what I do at Christmas “.
Johnson himself and Aleggra Stratton star on the covers, which they have called ‘scandal number 10’, which refers to Stratton being the executive’s number 10 adviser. She starred in the video broadcast this Tuesday by the ITV channel, in which a fictitious press conference could be seen, with Stratton as an interviewee in a humorous tone. This Wednesday he announced his resignation through tears when this video was interpreted as the definitive proof that the party had been celebrated.
The Daily Mail has chosen an image of Johnson’s adviser, visibly shaken when she announced her resignation, accompanied by a headline that reads “One rule for them, new rules for the rest of us.”
The Telegraph joins this strong criticism with the headline “Don’t go to work, but go to parties” opening its edition this Thursday. Most of its cover is dedicated to the ‘partygate’, where the prime minister’s photograph occupies a relevant space.
The Guardian also refers to the striking paradox of passing new restrictions while the population is overwhelmed by controversy. “Prime Minister Unleashes COVID Plan B As Party Scandal Engulfs Number 10.” This time it is the prime minister who appears on the cover with a confused face.
The Mirror does not soften its tone, but directly accuses the prime minister of lying to British citizens. “Plan B for us … Plan ‘lie, lie, lie’ for him” headlines in reference to the new measures to contain the pandemic announced by his Government.
On the other hand, The Times does not pick up this ironic tone, nor does it allocate the headline with the greatest prominence on its cover to the ‘partygate’ scandal. But the new imposition of teleworking takes the most space. Although Aleggra Stratton, the 10th adviser, appears in the large photograph, accompanied by the headline “Conservatives Throw Raucous Second Party.”
The Scottish Daily Record goes one step further and suggests “Party’s Over … Now Get Out” in a great headline. At the bottom it can be read that “the rope tightens” if even the tories point to the “indefensible” behavior of scandal number 10.
In the coming days it will be seen to what extent this scandal will take its toll on the Government of Boris Johnson as it tries to cope with the increase in infections that the country is experiencing. While he has forced the resignation of Stratton, Johnson has only announced in the House of Commons that the cabinet secretary has launched an investigation into what happened. The leader of the opposition, Keir Starmer, has reproached him for having denied for days that this party had taken place and has accused him of “taking them for fools” and having lied to them.