“Partygate”: Boris Johnson expected with a firm footing to explain himself to Parliament


Accused of participating in a party in the gardens of Downing Street in full confinement, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson must explain himself this Wednesday during a question-and-answer session in front of Parliament under extreme tension. For the head of government, the “partygate” makes this weekly meeting in the House of Commons, expected at 12 noon (local and GMT), one of the most difficult since he came to power in July 2019.

A lie to the British?

Confronted with a series of revelations at the end of last year on parties organized in circles of power in defiance of health rules to fight the coronavirus in 2020, Boris Johnson finds himself cornered to say whether or not he was present at a pot organized on May 20, as many British media claim. “The question is simple,” Labor opposition number two Angela Rayner pointed out on the BBC for whom, if Boris Johnson “lied to the British, lied to Parliament and attended parties during confinement,” “his position is untenable “.

The revelation on Monday evening by the ITV channel of an email sent to a hundred people by the Chief Secretary to the Prime Minister, Martin Reynolds, leaves no doubt as to the nature of the event held on May 20, 2020. “Bring it on. your bottles “, launched the invitation which called for” to take advantage of the good weather “during a drink” with social distancing “in the gardens of the residence of the Prime Minister.

About thirty or forty people had responded to the invitation, according to the press, including the head of government and his fiancée Carrie whom he married shortly after. At that time, only two people were allowed to meet outside. Anger is growing louder and louder in the ranks of the Conservative Party, where according to the media some believe that the question is no longer whether Boris Johnson will have to leave power, but when.

Calls for resignation

“Johnson loses Tories support”, headlines the Conservative on Wednesday Daily Telegraph, highlighting in particular the call for the resignation launched by the leader of the party in Scotland, Douglas Ross, if it turns out that Boris Johnson has broken the rules and cheated the Parliament. the Times sums up the position of members of the government to call on Boris Johnson to say he is “sorry” or else he will “condemn them all”. The popular Daily Mail wondered if “the party is over for the Prime Minister”, stressing that the conservative leader is going through the most serious crisis.

Asked before the revelation of the email, Boris Johnson was content Monday with an embarrassed smile to refer to the current internal investigation which relates to several rallies which would have been organized between May and December 2020. He has not spoken since . Two years after his historic electoral victory, Boris Johnson has seen his popularity, long stainless, drop in recent months. In addition to the holidays, his reputation has been tarnished by suspicion of lying about the financing of the luxurious renovation of his company apartment, the awarding of contracts between friends during the pandemic or even accusations of favoritism.

A possible vote of no confidence

If he continues to refuse to leave, a vote of no confidence within the party, requiring 54 letters to be triggered, would be enough to overthrow him. Unlikely in the immediate future, this option is however no longer taboo among the conservatives, reluctant to bother with leaders in turmoil and who could prefer the Minister of Finance Rishi Sunak or the head of diplomacy Liz Truss.

If this crisis around respect for the rules appears to be the most serious for Boris Johnson, it is far from being the first. He has already been confronted with the storms caused by the displacement through England in full confinement of his ex-adviser Dominic Cummings and his ex-Minister of Health Matt Hancock had to resign after being filmed kissing a collaborator, in defiance of the rules anti-Covid.



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