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Boris Johnson Claims He Thought Party He Attended During Lockdown Was 'Work Event'—But Nobody's Buying It

Boris Johnson Claims He Thought Party He Attended During Lockdown Was 'Work Event'—But Nobody's Buying It
Dominic Lipinski/PA Images/Getty Images

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in hot water after ITV news revealed he’d attended a boozy garden party in May 2020, when his government had locked down the country in the opening months of the pandemic.

While the British government was prohibiting people from having a meeting involving more than two people, Johnson attended drinks in the No 10 garden.

The news was revealed only this week, igniting fury in the British people.

On Monday, ITV News published a leaked email inviting 100 people to the garden party in May 2020.

The missive read:

“After what has been an incredibly busy period we thought it would be nice to make the most of the lovely weather and have some socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden this evening. Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!”

This party was planned when many countries were still scrambling to deal with the global pandemic. Great Britain had enacted strict guidelines involving who could meet with who, and severely limiting in-person meetings.

So how did Johnson justify attending this party?

He claimed he thought it was a “work event”.

During this week’s Questions to the Prime Minister, Johnson apologized to the public. He claimed to know the anguish and rage they feel, as government officials ignored the very guidelines they set out for others.

Johnson said:

“And I know the rage they feel with me, over the government I lead, when they think that in Downing Street itself, the rules are not being properly followed by the people who make the rules. And though I cannot anticipate the conclusions of the current inquiry, I have learned enough to know that there were things we simply did not get right.”
“And I must take responsibility.”

Johnson then tried to avoid responsibility by claiming he “believed implicitly” that the drinks party “was a work event.”

The one with the email invite to “bring your own booze!”

He also tried to mitigate it by saying he only stayed about 25 minutes, and speculated that the party might have “technically” followed the guidance given at the time.

People online were not very charitable with this interpretation.

Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour Party roasted this excuse, saying:

“Is he now going to do the decent thing and resign?”

As of now, Johnson has not said anything about resignation.