The scandal over the parties thrown by British civil servants during the pandemic lockdowns is growing even more. It is revealed parties also took place during the period of national mourning for the death of Prince Philip in April last year.
This time the widespread outrage has escalated, and demands are growing for the resignation of the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, as he was forced to apologize to Buckingham Palace for at least two of the parties, according to The Guardian on Jan. 14.
“It is deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning. Number 10 has apologised to the Palace,” Johnson’s official spokesman told reporters.
It should be recalled that at that time, not only had the restrictions prohibiting indoor gatherings been tightened in an attempt to reduce the intensity of the infections, but the plans carefully drawn up for the funeral over the years were completely altered.
In this context, the number of guests was reduced from 800 to 30. The Queen attended the funeral wearing a face mask and distanced herself from her family at the St. George’s Chapel service at Windsor Castle. In addition, everyone had to follow the protocols established by the pandemic.
The choir was reduced to four singers, and the few guests were forbidden to sing. There were no military processions through London or at Windsor, and the public was asked not to gather at the castle or other royal residences.
For his part, former Downing Street communications director Jonathan Haslam said Johnson’s apology for those events lacked “common sense” and “humility.”
“It’s a very small house, Downing Street, and it’s very difficult not to know what’s going on. The Prime Minister should never be caught out by what’s going on in his own home,” Haslam said, according to The Telegraph.
He added, “I found the apology he gave in the House of Commons lacked real common sense and humility, and it was undermined by the fact of his allegedly going round the tearoom saying ‘I’m taking the hit for nothing that’s my fault'”
The parties would have taken place at Downing Street on April 16, 2021, the night before Prince Philip’s funeral.
In rejection of the officials’ inappropriate behavior, several MPs and MPs across the country called for Johnson’s resignation, including Scottish Tory leader Douglass Ross, who declared that the prime minister’s position was “no longer tenable.”
This is not the first time Johnson’s officials have been accused of breaking the rules during the pandemic, in fact, UK government advisor Allegra Stratton resigned over the same offense that occurred on Dec. 18, 2020.
A leaked video showed Stratton making jokes about that Christmas party, while the population suffered from the quarantine lockdown.
Although officials denied that the party had taken place, BBC contacts confirmed that it had, and that it had been attended by “several dozen” people, according to a Dec. 8 report.