The last breach of the restrictions due to the covid in 2020 is revealed on the eve of the publication of the investigation of a dozen meetings
The controversy over Boris Jhonson’s parties during the pandemic goes a step further when Scotland Yard enters the scene. The British police have announced the start of an investigation to see if the leisure dates at 10 Downing Street violated the anti-pandemic rules imposed for the general population by the Prime Minister’s own government.
The news comes just after it was learned that Carrie Symonds, Boris Johnson’s then-fiancée, organized a birthday celebration for her now-husband on June 19, 2020, which would have been attended by about thirty employees. And, in turn, this new revelation comes on the eve of the publication of the report on illegal parties at the Prime Minister’s residence, prepared by official Sue Gray.
According to ITV television, Symonds invited Johnson’s collaborators to the room where the Council of Ministers meets and there she gave her husband a birthday cake while the attendees sang ‘Happy Birthday’. The prime minister’s office has claimed that he was in the meeting for about 10 minutes and that the rules of the pandemic were not broken.
The government’s guidelines on confinement, approved by Parliament and signed into law, then said that meetings should not be organized in closed spaces except for some “reasonable need” for work and only six people could meet in open spaces while maintaining distances. . Six members of the Johnson family would have celebrated the birthday later, with a barbecue in the garden.
The ITV revelation was already known to Gray, who will publish his investigation document this week. Cabinet ministers have already announced that Johnson, who will be the first person to receive it, will publish only the conclusions. The senior official does not have powers to decide sanctions. The opposition demands that all the documents be published and that Johnson resign.
Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s former senior adviser, refused to hold an interview with Gray over fears that details of a conversation could be manipulated by the prime minister. He agreed to a dialogue via email. The official, according to the media, has incited her colleagues in the past not to leave a written trail of emails, to avoid the risks of public requests based on the Law of Free Access to Government Information.
Gray would have accessed the electronic records of the access and exit cards of the Downing Street building, which would allow him to reconstruct the movements of the staff on the dates of the meetings investigated. But, according to Cummings, employees of the prime minister have not wanted to give material to the investigation for fear of the consequences. Gray’s own career path depends on the Prime Minister or the Cabinet Minister.