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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson confronted a fresh blizzard of questions on Tuesday about a garden party at 10 Downing Street in May 2020 that violated his government’s lockdown regulations, the latest in a skein of scandals that are sowing doubts about his long-term political survival.

The British news media reported that as many as 100 staff members were invited to a “bring your own booze” party in the backyard of Mr. Johnson’s residence, at a time when the government was instructing people not to socialize with more than a single person outside their families, to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

DCO Global News
Published on January 11, 2022
By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka

Mr. Johnson has not denied that he and his wife, Carrie, attended the gathering, which drew about 30 guests. If true, that would belie his statement in Parliament last year that he was told there were no Downing Street parties that broke social-distancing rules. The Metropolitan Police have indicated that they may investigate.

For Mr. Johnson, who had hoped to put a turbulent period of political setbacks and ethical questions behind him, the latest furor all but guarantees that the politically damaging issue of parties will continue to haunt him in 2022.

In December, nearly 100 lawmakers of his Conservative Party rebelled over new Covid restrictions, fueling speculation that his leadership was in danger. But that crisis ebbed somewhat over Christmas, and last week many Conservative lawmakers praised Mr. Johnson for resisting calls for tighter curbs.

Analysts concluded that he had bought himself breathing space until local elections in May, which will be a big test of how much the outcry over the parties and other ethical issues has damaged electoral support for the Conservatives.

The accusations are being investigated by Sue Gray, a senior civil servant, who replaced the cabinet secretary, Simon Case, after he was forced to step aside following claims that he had breached the rules himself.

Even before Ms. Gray wraps up her report, however, the public seems to have made up its mind. Opinion polls indicate that the stream of disclosures about Downing Street parties during the lockdown have drained support for the Conservative Party, and for Mr. Johnson in particular.

“Hardly anybody believes what Boris Johnson has to say on the matter,” Chris Curtis, the head of political polling at Opinium Research, wrote on Twitter. “In fact, more people think the moon landings were faked than think the prime minister is telling the truth.”

By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka

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British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson

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