UK: Downing Street apologizes to Elizabeth II for banned parties while mourning her husband | international

Downing Street, as the building where the UK prime minister usually lives and works, sent an official apology to Queen Elizabeth II on Friday for the two parties with alcohol and music celebrated by up to thirty of her staff in the hours before Prince Philip de Edemorgo’s funeral. On April 17, the Queen sat alone on a side bench in Windsor Castle Chapel, under a black mask covering part of her face. It was part of the harsh social restrictions that were still in place across the UK. The government of Boris Johnson has even asked citizens not to bring flowers to the fence of Buckingham Palace or Windsor to avoid crowding amid the pandemic. For all that inspired notes Daily Telegraph Very conservative and very supportive of Britain’s exit from the European Union. Very supportive of Johnson. Yet – that in the hours leading up to the funeral two parties were outlawed in Downing Street, popular discontent against the government rose several degrees.

“It is extremely unfortunate that this occurred during a period of national mourning and 10 Downing Street has apologized to the Palace. [de Buckingham]A spokesman for Johnson said. There was a phone call and an official written communication to Elizabeth II staff, but Downing Street did not want to clarify whether Johnson himself was the one relaying the apologies, or if he planned to do so next Tuesday, normally. The weekly office with the king.

“All of this shows how seriously Boris Johnson is taking down the position of prime minister,” Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labor Party, said in a public statement. After going so far this week to publicly call for his rival’s resignation during their standoff in the House of Commons last Wednesday, Starmer wants to keep pressure on Johnson at all costs. “The Conservatives have failed the UK. An apology is not the only thing the Prime Minister should offer Buckingham Palace. Johnson should do the only decent thing he can do: resign.”

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On this occasion, the newspaper revealed Daily TelegraphJohnson was not present on either side. It was at the time in Checkers, the official holiday home of the British Prime Minister. But again, Downing Street employees were under his jurisdiction and mandate to break rules that were so tightly imposed on the rest of the country. Then indoor gatherings of people from different homes are still prohibited.

Both events were called for layoffs. One of those leaving the country was James Slack, who was until then the Prime Minister’s Director of Communications. A legacy from the reign of her predecessor, Theresa May. The other was one of Johnson’s official photographers. And the wine abounded, as was narrated from them telegraph Some witnesses. There was laughter and dancing. The noise continued until dawn. Some started in the offices and ended in the garden. Others, in the basement of Downing Street, where even a full-size laptop computer provided music. Someone went to the nearby supermarket with an empty bag which he filled with bottles of wine. In the end, about 30 people ended up joining the two parties together in the park.

Slack on Friday himself posted his apology for everything that happened: “I want to apologize unreservedly for all the anger and pain it has caused. This event should not have happened at the time it did.” The former communications consultant said: “I am deeply sorry and take full responsibility. “.

Johnson’s Cabinet Office deputy permanent secretary, Sue Gray, must conclude within a few days of her internal investigation into proscribed parties being held at government facilities, including those where Johnson has admitted to being. Two other parties are now joining his investigations. And the prime minister’s nightmare may not end here. In a country that used to pour alcohol at the end of every work day, the spacious Downing Street park was the perfect excuse to turn long business meetings into a party with a clear conscience. This is what many of the participants watched at the time, without realizing that they were profoundly changing the standards so demanded of the rest of the country. Base for them and another for the rest. Each new piece of news about the atrocities in Downing Street during confinement brings Johnson’s popularity down to earth and brings the possibility of a rebellion among Conservative MPs close to ending his leadership and career as Prime Minister. On the same Friday, Kate Joseph, who during the early moments of the pandemic was at the helm of the Downing Street COVID-19 task force, issued a statement of apology. She, who is now Executive Director of Sheffield City Council, organized on 17 December 2020, at the worst of the new wave to hit the UK, her own farewell party, with alcoholic beverages. This event is also part of Gray’s research.

Johnson’s allies – more within the government than in the ranks of Parliament – are asking the Conservative Party to be patient, waiting to learn the Gray report. Although they are very harsh with Downing Street’s alcohol and party practices, they trust that the senior official will stick to the facts, not make value judgments and, above all, avoid any criminal deviation from the matter that would compel the Metropolitan Police to do so. intervention. But even with the most optimistic outcome, it will be difficult for Johnson to begin to quell the anger among citizens and politicians – especially among his fellow Conservatives – that has erupted so fiercely. The Queen’s humiliation, when barred parties coincide with a particularly sad funeral, due to social restrictions imposed, was for some the last straw. As everyone read the story this morning [por el viernes]’I was shocked,’” Damian Hinds, Secretary of State for Security, said in a statement. Sky News. To the two MPs who publicly proclaimed that they had submitted “Letters of Confidence” to the Committee of 1922, Leading the Parliamentary Group Regulating the Elections or Rejection of the Leader of the Conservative Party, joined by a third: Andrew Bridgen. His announcement has very powerful symbolism: a staunch advocate of Brexit, a staunch and skeptical EU critic of the former prime minister, Theresa May, and his announcement means that Johnson has already accomplished his mission – ending Brexit – and he does not serve them as prime minister. .

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54 characters are necessary to activate the internal censure motion mechanism against Johnson. The number of those received so far remains a secret. Many MPs are still watching from afar as a result of a crisis that has taken everyone by surprise. If they finally come to the conclusion that remaining the prime minister is an obstacle to re-certification of their seats, Johnson’s days will count.

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