Boris Johnson is at the center of a major scandal. He was throwing parties at 10 Downing Street in the midst of lockdown. The timing was so bad that he’s even apologized to Queen Elizabeth. Here’s what’s going on.
Before May 17, 2021 indoor gatherings were a strict no-no under London’s lockdown rules. On April 16, while telling the public what they can and cannot do, Downing Street staff held multiple parties. While Johnson didn’t attend, the fact that it occurred under his watch does not bode well.
To make matters worse, the parties occurred on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral. This is only the most recent flaunting of regulations. Johnson’s come under fire for repeatedly attending gatherings and throwing parties throughout the pandemic. He’s already apologized for previous transgressions, so this is officially a pattern of misbehavior and rule-flaunting.
Downing Street is formally apologizing to the palace for the parties. A spokesperson said: “It’s deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning…and No. 10 has apologized to the palace for that.” An enduring image of the pandemic saw Elizabeth mourning alone during Philip’s funeral, so the timing of these parties is especially egregious for many.
Johnson apologized earlier this week amid calls for him to step down. He said, “I want to apologize… I know the rage they feel with me and with the government, I lead when they think in Downing Street itself the rules are not being properly followed by the people who make the rules.” Leaders from both Labour and the Scottish Conservatives are calling for his resignation, so it seems like the writing is on the wall.
Queen Is Busy
Elizabeth seldom comments on public matters, so it’s not surprising that she’s kept calm and carried on. She’s been pretty busy this week as well, for she had to strip Prince Andrew of his titles and honors, amid the sex abuse scandal. The move was a long time coming, and it was important for Elizabeth to do it herself.
Only time will tell if Johnson is forced out as Prime Minister. Some of the top candidates to replace him are Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak, and Jeremy Hunt. Truss is the frontrunner and would be a successor to Margaret Thatcher of sorts. Johnson has not promised to step down thanks to these much-hated parties, but the future is far from bright.