Bring your drink, said Boris’s office invitation to event during confinement – 01/10/2022 – World

An email made public on Monday (10) goes against the claim by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office that a meeting with aides held in the gardens of the official residence in May 2020 was an event. professional.

The British network ITV broadcast the message, which would have been sent by the prime minister’s private secretary, Martin Reynolds, to more than 100 government officials at the time. “After an incredibly busy period, it would be nice to make the most of the pleasant weather and socially-distance a few drinks in the gardens at number 10 [referência ao endereço 10, Downing Street], tonight,” he wrote. “Please join us from 6pm and bring your own drink!”

At the time, there were severe restrictions imposed by the government to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus. They included the ban on the operation of bars and restaurants and prohibited gatherings of more than two people residing in different houses.

Boris’s office at first denied holding the party. In December, when photos were published by The Guardian newspaper that showed the prime minister himself at the event, at a table with cheese and wine, the version was that aides were working in the garden that day.

About 40 employees would have attended the party, according to ITV. Wanted by the Reuters news agency, the prime minister declined to comment on the publication. Asked on Monday about having been there with the woman, Boris refused to answer, saying that “all this, as you know, is the subject of an investigation”.

The prime minister is referring to an internal investigation that seeks to clarify allegations that at least five parties were held by government agencies during the period of isolation measures. In December, by the way, Simon Case, the cabinet secretary who led the investigation, left his post after the press pointed out that an event was held in his office; Sue Gray, second permanent cabinet secretary, took over the case.

Last week, Boris’ former chief adviser confirmed that a drinking party was held in the garden of the prime minister’s official residence on May 15, 2020. According to Dominic Cummings, he warned at the time that the event was against the rules imposed by the Prime Minister. government itself.

London police, which had previously declined investigations into these meetings involving officials during lockdown, said on Monday they were in contact with the prime minister’s office after what they called “widespread reports” of violations at government headquarters of measures to contain the outbreak. health crisis.

The revelation of the ITV network earned a new round of criticism of Boris in Parliament. The main opposition Labor Party accused the prime minister of “not having regard for the rules he has set for the rest of us”. A note from the Scottish National Party called Reynolds’ email “utterly outrageous”.

In addition to the alleged mid-2020 party, another event would have been held in Downing Street during Christmas 2020, when in-person celebrations were also banned. The episode led to the resignation of an advisor in early December.

The celebrations represent one of several scandals related to the conservative in recent months. Boris is also plagued by an episode in which he was blamed — and his party, fined — for a renovation carried out in the official residence with undeclared funds from a private donation.

There are also complaints against the prime minister for trying to change parliamentary rules to help political allies, for his luxurious holidays abroad, for dubious ties to some companies and accusations of patronage in the designation of seats in the House of Lords (equivalent to the Senate).

As a sign of wear and tear, the Conservative Party lost the North Shropshire election in December for a seat in Parliament. The result of the election, despite not threatening the conservative majority, had a relevant symbolic weight, since the region had been dominated by the acronym for almost 200 years.

Boris even faced rebellion within his party in voting on a new set of restrictions to stop the advance of the omicron variant. The measure was only approved thanks to the votes of the opposition.

Britain’s official death toll from Covid passed the 150,000 mark on Saturday.

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