Wednesday, January 26, 2022

UK PM Johnson faces day of crisis in parliament after party reveals

LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will have to fight to protect his premiership on Wednesday after it was revealed that a “bring your own wine” gathering was previously held at his official residence during the coronavirus lockdown.

Opposition lawmakers have called for Johnson to resign and some in his own Conservative party have called for him to step down if he is found breaking strict laws brought in by his government to curb the spread of the virus. needed.

Johnson, who rose to power in 2019 on the promise of Britain’s exit from the European Union, has so far declined to say whether he attended the Downing Street gathering on May 20, 2020.

“His existence is in limbo at the moment,” a senior Conservative legislator said on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.

The MP said, “She has to make a clean breast. I usually find that if you apologise, it solves the problem. It can’t be hung.”

ITV News reported that the prime minister and his partner, Carey, met with about 40 employees in the garden of Downing Street when his principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, sent an invitation by email using the pronoun “we.”

Johnson’s spokesman has repeatedly declined to comment on the details of the report.

When Johnson questions parliament at 1200 GMT on Wednesday, there’s only one issue MPs want answered: Was he at the drinks party or not?

Newspapers, including those that are generally very sympathetic to Johnson, warned that unless he resolved the issue, his position could be untenable.

On its front page, the Daily Mail following the recent scandal had several commentators asking: “Is the party over for the PM?”

(Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Katherine Evans)

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