UK's Boris Johnson faces lockdown-breach claims over garden party

7 months ago 75

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced more allegations that he and his staff flouted coronavirus lockdown rules, this time by holding a garden party in 2020 while Britons were barred by law from mingling outside the home.

Opposition politicians called for a police investigation after broadcaster ITV published a leaked email invitation to socially distanced drinks in the garden of the prime minister's Downing Street office and residence in May 2020.

The email from the prime minister's private secretary, Martin Reynolds, was sent to dozens of people and urged attendees to bring your own booze.

The event was scheduled for May 20, 2020 -- the same day the government at a televised news conference reminded people they could only meet up with one person outside their household. London's Metropolitan Police force published reminders about the rules on the same day.

During Britain's first lockdown, which began in March 2020, gatherings were banned with a few exceptions, including work and funerals.

Johnson's Conservative government has repeatedly been accused of flouting the rules it imposed on others.

The latest claims will be investigated by senior civil servant Sue Gray who was appointed by the government to look into earlier allegations that staff in Johnson's office flouted coronavirus rules with lockdown-breaching Christmas parties in 2020.

Johnson has insisted he personally broke no rules, but the BBC and others reported Tuesday that the prime minister and his wife Carrie Johnson attended the May 2020 garden gathering.

Health Minister Edward Argar said he understood why people would be upset and angry, but said he would not pre-judge the outcome of Gray's inquiry.

But Labour Party lawmaker Ed Miliband said the allegations were incredibly damning and said Johnson must explain whether he attended the party.

It was clearly the most flagrant violation of the rules, Miliband told the BBC.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Read Entire Article