Party on eve of royal funeral: Johnson ex-aide apologizes
A former aide of British PM Boris Johnson apologizes for a lockdown-breaching party in Downing Street on the eve of Prince Philip's funeral in 2021.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's former communications chief apologized on Friday for a party held in Downing Street in breach of lockdown rules last year. This incident marks yet another scandal in a string of rule-breaking gatherings that have made Johnson so unpopular with British citizens.
The former Johnson aide, James Slack, said the April 2021 party "should not have happened at the time that it did," adding that he apologizes "unreservedly for the anger and hurt caused."
Though Johnson did not attend this party, he apologized earlier this week for going to another rule-breaking party in his Downing Street office at a time when the UK was under lockdown.
According to a leaked email, Johnson's principal private secretary Martin Reynolds, invited more than 100 colleagues to "socially distanced drinks in the No. 10 garden," during the first lockdown in England.
People were at the time banned by law from meeting more than one person outside their homes. Some were even barred from visiting their dying relatives in hospitals
The official instructions regarding workplace in-person meetings indicated meetings should only be held if "absolutely necessary."
The email was published by ITV News on Monday and included Reynolds telling those invited that it would be "nice to make the most of the lovely weather," and "bring their own booze."
The party hosted by Johnson's aide, Slack, took place on the eve of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth's husband, Prince Philip. Queen Elizabeth was photographed the next day, sitting alone and clad and black.
Many have voiced their desire to see the "PM of chaos" resigning, from conservative MPs to Labour party leader Keir Starmer.
This "partygate" scandal may become the tipping point for the prime minister who was embroiled in controversies ranging from rule-breaking to outright corruption.