UK 'Partygate' Saga: Should BoJo Brace for Tough Times?

© AP Photo / Alastair GrantBritain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives back at 10 Downing Street in London, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives back at 10 Downing Street in London, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.02.2022
On Monday, Boris Johnson said that he was "going to get on" with his job after an investigation into a string of parties held at his official residence in Downing Street during the COVID lockdowns found there were serious "failures of leadership and judgment".
With UK senior civil servant Sue Gray's report on the alleged lockdown parties at Number 10 released on Monday, the main focus now shifts to a Metropolitan Police probe into the matter after detectives revealed that they had obtained at least 500 pages of evidence and about 300 images taken at purported Downing Street social gatherings between 2020 and 2021.
In a previous phone call to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Gray made it clear that she expected her findings to be published in full once the police had completed their own inquiry.
British PM Boris Johnson in Downing Street - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.01.2022
Johnson Refuses to Step Down and Pledges Change Following Interim 'Partygate' Report
Gray's report accused No 10 of serious failures of "leadership and judgment" over some parties, where the document claimed "excessive quantities" of alcohol were consumed. So the question arises as to what may come next in this "partygate" saga, especially given that the senior civil servant's report disclosed scant details about the purported parties.

Will the Names of Specific Lockdown Rule-Breakers Be Revealed?

Yes and no, because typical police procedure allows the Met not to name individuals who are issued with penalty notices. The British law enforcement agency earlier suggested that they are not going to make an exception in the "partygate" case.

Is There a Chance of Finding Out What Exactly Happened at the Alleged Number 10 Parties?

There is such a chance given Johnson reversing his drive not to commit to publishing Gray's full-blown report after the conclusion of the police probe.

Downing Street stated that the PM would "ask Sue Gray to update her work in light of what is found" and that she would then "publish that update". It remains unclear what the "update" would entail, and is something that will most likely depend on the outcome of the police inquiry.

There are reports the embattled prime minister is not in a position to veto anything Gray would like to reveal, and she earlier said she thinks that ordinary Britons deserve a complete account of the Downing Street parties.

Will Johnson Face Leadership Challenge Over 'Partygate'?

The scenario that enough Tory MPs will submit letters to the chairman of the Conservative Party's 1922 Committee to trigger a confidence vote is possible, but not likely.
On Monday, just one more Conservative lawmaker came out to say that he no longer supports Johnson. Other MPs will most likely wait for the publication of the results of the Met's investigation.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson samples an Isle of Harris gin as he visits a UK Food and Drinks market, set up in Downing Street, London, Tuesday Nov. 30, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.01.2022
Boris Johnson: Report on Downing Street Parties to Be Published in 'Full'
Late last week, The Independent reported that British Chancellor Rishi Sunak is preparing a potential Tory leadership bid as he believes the "partygate" scandal could be "unsurvivable" for Johnson. The newspaper cited unnamed sources as saying that Sunak is putting the finishing touches on a PR-led leadership campaign, including a draft version of a campaign website inspired by his weekly No 11 newsletter and marketing strategy.

On the other hand, separate reports earlier claimed that the UK prime minister has been "privately reassured" that he will not be forced out of office by his MPs following the release of Gray's report.

In the latest development, Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab told Sky News that Johnson cannot answer specific questions about the alleged Number 10 parties because he does not want to prejudice the police probe into the issue.
"If he does start answering specific questions that have been referred to the police, he will be accused, in fact fairly and rightly, of prejudicing or preventing or interfering in that investigation", Raab asserted.
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала