Sue Gray’s report into Boris Johnson’s “Partygate” scandal was released on Monday, causing a surge in uproar against Great Britain’s Prime Minister, with renewed calls for his resignation.
The report covers two parties held at Downing Street, one for Johnson’s 56th birthday on June 19, 2020, and one for two of his aides’ departures from his staff on November 13, 2020.
Gray harshly criticized the PM’s discretion, which has stoked those calling on him to resign:
“At times it seems there was too little thought given to what was happening across the country in considering the appropriateness of some of these gatherings, the risks they presented to public health, and how they might appear to the public. There were failures of leadership and judgment by different parts of No. 10 and the Cabinet Office at different times,” Gray wrote.
Gray also hoped that “significant learning” would take place in the wake of the scandal, saying that events like Partygate “must be addressed immediately across government” and that police investigation should be unnecessary.
“Some of the events should not have been allowed to take place,” Gray wrote. “Other events should not have been allowed to develop as they did.”
Boris Johnson criticized for parties held on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral
Johnson’s office held farewell parties for two staff members on April 16, 2021 – the night before Prince Philip’s funeral.
Jamie Davies, a spokesman for the PM, said that Johnson and his team are aware that the parties have generated “significant public anger.”
“It’s deeply regrettable that this took palace at a time of national mourning and No. 10 has apologized to the palace,” he said, referring to Johnson’s 10 Downing Street office.
Johnson’s team claims that Johnson himself wasn’t in attendance on April 16, and did not even know that such parties were being held. Despite this, the news of these gatherings has been a significant blow to Johnson’s standing in the British government.
Johnson made an apology earlier this week for attending a Downing St. party in May 2020, a period in which the UK had enforced lockdown measurements.
Although Johnson and his team are attempting to move on from the scandal, many prominent members of Britain’s Tory party are calling for him to resign.
The combination of lockdown-defying hubris and apparent disrespect for the Royal Family’s grief has created the perfect storm for the opponents of the PM. A spokesman for Johnson said it was “deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning.”
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and consort of the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, passed away on the morning of April 9, 2021, at the age of 99 at Windsor Castle.
Prince Philip’s marriage to Queen Elizabeth, which lasted 74 years, was the longest marriage of any British royals in history.