British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under pressure to resign after he admitted breaking the government’s coronavirus lockdown rules by attending a garden party at his Downing Street residence in May 2020.
Johnson’s Admission Wednesday’s apology marks the latest and most high-profile scandal in a series of controversies involving the Tory leader, his staff and other senior figures at a string of alleged rule-breaking rallies since the pandemic began.
Throughout 2020, the UK is said to be grappling with a soaring number of virus cases that has killed tens of thousands and sparked a historic recession as Britons’ daily life is severely restricted. General pessimism.
All of these incidents, allegedly taking place in various locations in the capital, London, only recently came to light in a series of reports on them in the British media since the beginning of last month.
They are now under investigation by senior public servant Sue Gray, whom Johnson’s government has commissioned to lead an inquiry into whether rallies were held in breach of COVID-19 restrictions.
Below is a timeline of the parties that allegedly happened:
May 15, 2020
One Photo Johnson, his wife Carrie, then chief adviser Dominic Cummings and chief private secretary Martin Reynolds are seen sitting around a table in Downing Street gardens, sharing cheese and wine.
The photo, which emerged last month, also shows four other people gathered at a nearby table drinking alcohol, while another, larger group stands not far away.
Johnson dismissed speculation the image was a record of activity in breach of COVID-19 restrictions, insisting the people seen gathered there were “people at work talking about work”.
At the time, the UK was still first national lockdown. Schools are closed to most students, bars and restaurants are closed, and social activities are strictly controlled.
Two people from different households are allowed to meet outdoors, but only if they maintain a two-meter (6.5-foot) distance. guide A release for the workplace said in-person meetings should only involve “absolutely essential participants”.
May 20, 2020
Around 40 people, including Johnson and his wife, reportedly attended the “bring your own drink” event party in Downing Street Gardens.
As revealed earlier this week, Reynolds had previously emailed about 100 of the Prime Minister’s staff an invitation to attend the event.
Johnson told Britain’s parliament on Wednesday that he attended the rally, which he claimed at the time thought it was a work event.
The Prime Minister said he entered Downing Street Gardens to thank his staff for their work during the pandemic, before returning to his office 25 minutes later.
In hindsight, he said, he should have prevented the incident from continuing.
The lockdown rules in place at that time are the same as those implemented five days earlier on May 15.
November 13, 2020
Johnson reportedly delivered his departure speech to an outgoing staff member at an event attended by only a handful of people, and he was also said to have attended a party at his private residence in Downing Street, London.
Sources, who asked not to be named, told the BBC that several staff members attended the party at his flat with Johnson’s wife. The broadcaster, citing a spokeswoman for the latter, denied the party was taking place.
November 25, 2020
About two dozen civil servants reportedly held an impromptu reception at the Treasury Department just weeks after the second nationwide coronavirus lockdown took effect. media reports Citing unnamed government sources.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who submitted his fall budget and spending review earlier in the day, was reportedly not among the attendees and allegedly did not know about the event before it happened.
A spokesman for the department later insisted it was “few“The staff at the party.
At the time, people were banned from socializing indoors with members of another household. Bars, restaurants and shops were closed, and people were told to stay home unless there was a specific reason to leave, such as work or education.
November 27, 2020
Johnson is said to have delivered yet another farewell speech to an aide leaving Downing Street at a packed departure party.
British newspaper The Guardian report In his speech, the prime minister mentioned how busy the event was, citing an unnamed source.
The lockdown rules in place at the time were the same as those imposed two days earlier on November 25.
December 10, 2020
The Ministry of Education allegedly held an office party in London to thank staff for their work during the pandemic.
about two dozen people it is said Participate in events held in the department cafeteria where drinks and snacks are provided.
A senior civil servant later said the party was instigated by then education secretary Gavin Williamson.
Although a second national coronavirus lockdown had ended on December 2 by the time of the event, London and many other parts of England still banned different family members from socializing indoors, as the Johnson government pushed for a regionalised approach to continuing virus restrictions.
December 14, 2020
A high-profile Conservative figure rallies at the party headquarters in Westminster, London.
The event was organised by the campaign staff of then-London mayoral candidate Sean Bailey. As shown Join the party with 20+ other people.
Bailey, who failed in his bid to replace current London mayor Sadiq Khan, later resigned from two London council committees after news of the gathering broke.
The event came on the same day that stricter social restrictions were announced for London from December 17, as London moved from level 2 to level 3 under the government’s regionalized approach to virus measures. Different household members are still prohibited from socializing indoors.
December 15, 2020
Johnson reportedly took part in an online Christmas quiz organised for Downing Street staff in apparent breach of social distancing rules.
Photo post British newspaper The Sunday Mirror appeared last month to show the prime minister sitting at the Downing Street library for an event next to two of his team members. Johnson later denied any wrongdoing.
The virus restrictions imposed in London at the time meant that different family members were banned from socializing indoors.
December 16, 2020
On the same day the capital moved into level 3 restrictions, staff at the Department for Transport threw a party at its offices in London.
British “Daily Mirror” report Nearly a dozen people attended the event last month, with participants drinking and dancing.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who was not in the gathering crowd, later said he “did not know” about the party until after it happened.
December 18, 2020
The Downing Street Christmas party was reportedly attended by 40 to 50 people.
Officials and political workers allegedly ate cheese, drank wine and exchanged gifts at the event, which continued into the night.
Johnson’s office initially denied the party had taken place, but a video subsequently obtained by BBC ITV News showed Allegra Stratton, then the prime minister’s press secretary, joking about reports of the party.
“This fictitious gathering was a business meeting and social distancing was not practiced,” Stratton, who has resigned, said for the record.
The Christmas party was held while London was still under level 3 restrictions, meaning indoor gatherings of two or more people from different households were banned. Work gatherings were also banned at the time.