(CRHoy.com) AFP.- A suitcase full of alcohol and dancing until dawn while Elizabeth II prepared to bury her husband. Downing Street apologized to the queen on Friday after these revelations that capped off a disastrous week for Boris Johnson.
This new leak to the press hit like a bombshell on the British prime minister, facing his biggest crisis since he triumphantly came to power in 2019 promising to carry out the stalled Brexit.
And also for the 95-year-old monarch, who on Thursday had already had to deal with the scandal caused by his “favorite son”, Prince Andrés, who was deprived of his royal honors due to the threat of a civil trial in the United States for sexual assault on a minor.
In an image that will be recorded as a symbol of the strictness of lockdowns in the UKOn April 17, 2021, the Queen was seen, in deep mourning, sitting completely alone in the Chapel of Windsor Castle during the funeral of Prince Philip, to whom she was married for seven decades.
According to the conservative Daily Telegraph, that same morning, Downing Street staff had celebrated the departure of two collaborators in style: communications director James Slack, now deputy editor of The Sun, and a personal photographer for Johnson.
“It is deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning and Downing Street has apologized to the palace, “a spokesman for the prime minister announced to reporters on Friday.
Anger and pain
These two parties, one of which was held in a basement of the government headquarters, ended up coming together in the gardens of the official residence, according to the Telegraph, a newspaper close to power.
A person had been sent to a supermarket to buy bottles of wine that he brought to Downing Street in a suitcase, he says.
At that time, indoor gatherings were prohibited, and only a maximum of six people were allowed to meet outdoors.
In a statement Friday, Slack apologized “unreservedly for the anger and pain caused,” saying it took “full responsibility.”
Johnson, 57, was not present and was, according to a spokesman, in Checkers, the country residence of British heads of government.
But these new revelations add to the already long list of parties organized in the circles of power during the periods of confinement of the last two years. And they show, according to witnesses quoted by the media, a true culture of drinking in Downing Street.
Very weakened in the polls, Johnson struggles to retain the reins of his party and government after acknowledging in Parliament on Wednesday that he attended one of these parties during lockdown in May 2020.
In his defense, he stated that he thought it was a “work event”, which provoked widespread derision.
Several Conservative MPs, some of whom were until recently ardent supporters of the prime minister, joined the opposition. to ask for his resignation.
Andrew Bridgen was the last to present a letter to the committee that manages the Conservative Party parliamentary group, denouncing a “moral vacuum at the heart of the government” and calling for an internal motion of no confidence against its leader.
If enough of these letters are received, the committee will have to organize a new elementary school to replace Johnson.
And although the majority of his government has supported him, one of the heavyweights, Finance Minister Rishi Sunak, considered a possible candidate for prime minister, was much more reserved.
Meanwhile, Johnson and his ministers repeat over and over again that we must wait for the publication of conclusions, in the best case scenario next week, of an internal investigation into the alleged illegal parties commissioned by senior official Sue Gray.
But The Times newspaper announced on Friday that it would not have found sufficient evidence of criminal offenses.
The parties also outraged the families of the victims of the covid. “That the people who run this country do them and then lie about it shows a total disregard for the citizens,” said Fran Hall of the Bereaved Families for Justice association.