Downing Street apologizes to the Queen for holding two concerts amid national mourning
Britain’s Prime Minister Queen Elizabeth II has apologized for holding two ceremonies at Government House on the eve of her husband’s funeral, Prince of Edinburgh. Calls are mounting for Boris Johnson to step down.
Pressure mounts on Boris Johnson. The British prime minister’s government on Friday apologized to Queen Elizabeth II after it was revealed that her office staff attended two Downing Street parties until late into the night on the eve of Prince Philip of Edinburgh’s funeral.
Speaking to the media, a spokesperson for the office said: “It is very unfortunate that this happened at a time of national mourning and 10 Downing Street (Johnson’s official office) has apologized to the palace.”
The source added that the Prime Minister “has recognized the need for Downing Street to adhere to the highest standards and to take responsibility for things that went wrong”, despite not participating in the events of April 16 as he was in his residence in his country and did not do so. They are invited.
However, the Prime Minister admitted that he attended a ceremony at Government House on 20 May 2020, at a time when indoor meetings have been banned in the UK due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
James Slack, who was the Tory leader’s director of communications at the time, admitted his mistake. “I would like to apologize unreservedly for the anger and pain they caused. This event should not have happened at the time. I am very sorry and I take full responsibility,” the journalist said.
Parties in Downing Street in national mourning
Last Thursday, The Daily Telegraph revealed that two concerts will be held on April 16 in Downing Street. The reasons for the celebration were Slack’s farewell as well as the official photographer.
According to the newspaper, the participants bought a bag of alcohol. The celebration went as far as spilling wine on the carpet and smashing a hammock used by the prime minister’s young son.
The next day, Queen Elizabeth II said goodbye to her husband of 73 years at Windsor Castle. She did so wearing black clothes and a mask alone, due to health restrictions due to the coronavirus.
Pressure mounts on Johnson to resign
Recent events have increased pressure on Johnson to resign. Labor opposition does not forgive that the Prime Minister and his staff have violated health regulations that they themselves set. They argue that the Prime Minister is unfit to govern and that he has misled Parliament.
The conservative leader’s justification did not convince the opposition or some of his deputies. Indeed, some members of the Conservative Party fear the scandal will affect their electoral interests, which is why the party’s leader in Scotland, Douglas Ross, has also called for his resignation.
Andrew Bridgen, a Conservative lawmaker, agrees with Ross. “Unfortunately, the position of prime minister has become unacceptable,” Bridgen said, so “it is time to leave the podium.”
Meanwhile, chancellor Liz Truss, a potential successor, said “real mistakes” had been made.
However, most ministers sided with the president. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said Johnson “did the right thing to apologize” while Northern Ireland Minister Brandon Lewis said the government was “united”. In addition, he predicted that Johnson would still be in a position to “win the next election”.
If 54 of the 360 Conservative MPs write letters of censure to the chairman of the party’s “1922 Committee”, Johnson could be forced to resign. According to the Daily Telegraph, as many as 30 letters have already been sent.
Sue Gray, who is responsible for investigating the case, is expected to publish details of events in Downing Hill next week.
Johnson is leading a country with a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections, soaring inflation and soaring energy bills. Taxes will also rise in April while his party will hold local elections in May.
With EFE and Reuters
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