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UPDATED - PRESSURE IS MOUNTING on PM Boris Johnson amid fresh party allegations

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Video: Boris look a like mocks PM for the quarantine Parties
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PRESSURE IS MOUNTING on Boris Johnson amid fresh allegations that two further Downing Street parties were held while pandemic restrictions were in place, the night before Prince Philip’s funeral.

The events were held in April last year, while the UK was in a period of national mourning, it was reported. The Prime Minister was said to have been away from Downing Street at the time.

Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “The Queen sitting alone, mourning the loss of her husband, was the defining image of lockdown. Not because she is the Queen, but because she was just another person, mourning alone like too many others.

“Whilst she mourned, Number 10 partied. Johnson must go.”

His comments were echoed by Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner, who wrote on Twitter: “The Queen sat alone in mourning like so many did at the time with personal trauma & sacrifice to keep to the rules in the national interest.

“I have no words for the culture & behaviours at number 10 and the buck stops with the PM.”

Fran Hall, from Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, said: “If your neighbours had behaved like this, you’d have been disgusted. For the people running the country to do it and then lie about it, shows a complete disdain for the general public.

It reported accounts from witnesses who said alcohol was drunk and guests danced to music.

The two events are said to have started separately and later merged.

At the time, Government guidance stated: “You must not socialise indoors except with your household or support bubble. You can meet outdoors, including in gardens, in groups of six people or two households.”

A Downing Street spokesperson said of Slack’s event: “On this individual’s last day he gave a farewell speech to thank each team for the work they had done to support him, both those who had to be in the office for work and on a screen for those working from home.”

The spokesperson offered no further comment on the allegations that a farewell gathering was held for the PM’s personal photographer.

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister apologised for attending a “bring your own booze” party in the Downing Street garden in May 2020, during the first Covid-19 lockdown, but insisted he believed it was a work event and could “technically” have been within the rules.

Members of the UK government urged Johnson’s critics to wait for the findings of Gray’s inquiry before passing judgment after Tory MPs began publicly calling for him to quit.

Cabinet ministers defended Johnson after his apology on Wednesday, but the late interventions of Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Chancellor Rishi Sunak – both tipped as potential successors – did little to instil confidence in his future.

While Johnson endured a difficult session of Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Sunak had notably spent the day away from London on a visit in Devon.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman insisted the Cabinet fully supported Johnson.

Asked about the delay in Truss and Sunak showing their support, the spokesman said: “What the Prime Minister wants and expects is the Cabinet to be focused on delivering on the public’s priorities.”

Asked if he believed he had the full support of his Cabinet, the spokesman said: “Yes.”

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries later suggested the Chancellor may have been delayed coming to the Prime Minister’s defence because of poor connectivity during his trip.

She told Channel 4 News: “We know he doesn’t have great signal down there.”

But Johnson faced open revolt from one wing of his party, as Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross urged him to quit, with almost all Tory MSPs supporting the call.

In Westminster, four other Tory MPs have now publicly said Johnson should go – Bridgen, Roger Gale, former minister Caroline Nokes and chairman of the Public Affairs and Constitutional Affairs Committee William Wragg.

The Metropolitan Police indicated any investigation by them would depend on evidence unearthed in the Gray inquiry.

The prospect of a police investigation had led to the possibility that the inquiry could be paused, but a Scotland Yard statement said: “The Met has ongoing contact with the Cabinet Office in relation to this inquiry.

“If the inquiry identifies evidence of behaviour that is potentially a criminal offence it will be passed to the Met for further consideration.”
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