Sun. Jan 23rd, 2022

Opponents say he is unfit to govern and has misled parliament by denying that the COVID-19 guidelines were violated.

In an extraordinary twist to a saga that has been much talked about by comedians and comic artists, the Daily Telegraph said that drinking parties were held in Downing Street on April 16, 2021, the day before Prince Philips’ funeral.

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Picture for read more article 'Boris Johnson faces calls to resign after admitting to attending' bring your own booze 'party in lockdown'

“It is deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning, and No. 10 (Downing Street) has apologized to the Palace,” Johnson’s spokesman told reporters.

Johnson was at his farm in Checkers that day and was not invited to any gathering, his spokesman said.

Such was the party in Downing Street, the Telegraph said staff went to a nearby supermarket to buy a suitcase of alcohol, spilled wine on blankets and a swing used by the Prime Minister’s young son was smashed.

The next day, Queen Elizabeth said goodbye to Prince Philip, her husband of 73 years, after his death at the age of 99.

Dressed in black and in a white trimmed black face mask, 95-year-old Elizabeth cut a gripping figure while sitting alone, in strict accordance with the rules of coronavirus, during Philip’s funeral at Windsor Castle.

Queen Elizabeth sits alone in St.  Georges Chapel, Windsor Castle, during the funeral of her husband, Prince Philip, in April 2021.

Source: AP

Opponents have urged Mr Johnson, 57, to step down, casting him as a charlatan demanding the public follow some of the most burdensome rules in peacetime history while his own staff partyed in the heart of the British state.

A small but growing number in his own Conservative party have reiterated these calls, fearing it will do lasting damage to its options.

“Unfortunately, the prime minister’s position has become untenable,” said Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen, a former Johnson supporter.

“The time has come to leave the stage.”

Johnson has provided a variety of explanations to the parties, ranging from denials that any rules were broken, to expressing understanding of the public anger over apparent hypocrisy.

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Picture for read more article 'Boris Johnson's adviser withdraws under criticism of Christmas party'

Secretary of State Liz Truss, who was seen as a possible successor, said “real mistakes” were made.

“We have to look at the overall position we are in as a country, the fact that he (Johnson) has delivered Brexit, that we are recovering from COVID … He has apologized.”

“I think we need to move on now.”

To trigger a leadership challenge, 54 of the 360 ‚Äč‚ÄčConservative MPs must write letters of no confidence to the chairman of the party’s “1922 committee”.

The Telegraph said as many as 30 such letters had been submitted.

Johnson faces a tough year ahead: In addition to COVID-19, inflation is rising, energy bills are rising, taxation will rise in April, and his party faces local elections in May.

One of the parties in April 2021 was a departure event for James Slack, a former communications director at Downing Street, who on Friday apologized “for the anger and hurt”.

Slack, now deputy editor of the tabloid newspaper Sun, said in a statement to PA Media that the gathering “should not have taken place at the time it happened”.

British police said on Thursday that they would not investigate gatherings held at Mr Johnson’s residence during a coronavirus blockade unless an internal government inquiry finds evidence of potential criminal acts.

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