Why UK Prime Minister Is Under Pressure To Quit

PHOTO: Courtesy UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is fighting for his job in a row over gatherings at his official residence allegedly in breach of his own Covid lockdown rules.

In a perilous moment for his leadership, Mr Johnson is accused of misleading the public and parliament about drinks parties that took place at 10 Downing Street in London.

He is not only facing calls to resign from opposition politicians, but a revolt among members of his own Conservative Party.

On top of the revelations about potentially Covid-breaching gatherings, he has faced pressure on other fronts too – including funding for a flat refurbishment and a row last year in which his government tried to save a Conservative MP who was embroiled in his own scandal.

Complicating things further, there has been a barrage of criticism from Mr Johnson’s former top adviser, Dominic Cummings, who has said the prime minister was warned about a drinks party in the Downing Street garden prior to the event.

Conservatives are now weighing up whether the man who helped win the Brexit vote and delivered a handsome majority at the last election is, in fact, expendable.

Lockdown Party

In the spring of 2020, during England’s first Covid lockdown, Mr Johnson attended a “BYOB” (or “bring your own booze”) party in the Downing Street garden.

At the time, restrictions imposed by the government said that people could not leave their homes – or be outside the place they live – without a reasonable excuse. That included work (if you were unable to work from home), exercise and getting things like food and medicine.

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The law also banned gatherings in a public place of more than two people, unless they were all members of the same household or the gathering was “essential for work purposes”.

About 30 people are understood to have attended the Downing Street garden party. However, lawyers have noted that the location is not a public space.