1653489932 partygate

The eagerly awaited Downing Street party report

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The UK government released the full report of the investigation into the parties held at the prime minister’s residence in Downing Street, London, between May 2020 and April 2021. The parties were held in violation of restrictions introduced by the government itself to combat the coronavirus pandemic, and their discovery started the so-called “Partygate” scandal.

The report was compiled by government official Sue Gray, who had already made part of it public in January: in that case only an excerpt had been published, with several passages censored, because a London police investigation was still ongoing. on those facts (which eventually ended with dozens of people fined, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson). The report substantially confirms what had already been anticipated in January, speaking of a “serious failure of leadership and judgment” on the part of British government officials, accused of “excessive alcohol consumption” and “inappropriate” behavior on site. of work. But compared to the censored version, the full report adds numerous details, especially some photos showing Johnson and other government officials attending parties.

Johnson commented on the report’s release in a speech in the House of Commons Wednesday, in which he apologized for the inappropriate behavior of officials and said he takes “full responsibility” for it. He also repeated it later in a press conference, in which he also said that he has no intention of resigning as revealed on the holidays and that the events he had attended were of a business nature.

– Read also: Does the British Prime Minister’s office have a problem with alcohol?

Confirming the allegations already made in January, Gray’s full report contains more details on the parties at the center of the investigation, with confirmations from email and WhatsApp conversations, as well as photographs. Among the latter there is also one that in recent days had been anticipated by the British television site ITV in which Boris Johnson is seen attending a party held on November 13, 2020 at the government headquarters in London, and toasting to the end of Lee Cain’s tenure as prime minister’s communications officer.

The report looks at 16 meetings in Downing Street, of which 12 were investigated by the police. Among the details that were not present in the first version of the report, there is one in particular concerning a party organized among government officials on June 18, 2020 on the occasion of the end of the mandate of a colleague, which is not done the name. At the time, indoor meetings between more than two people were prohibited in England.

The preparations for the party had lasted about ten days, and in the end there was a party that lasted until the early hours of the morning of June 19: the report indicates that the party had been an excessive consumption of alcohol, a fight between two people, and one of the participants who felt ill. It is also said that on that occasion Helen MacNamara, at the time responsible for ethics and good conduct in the government, had personally brought a machine to make karaoke.

For another party in May, email invitations were sent to around 200 people, all government employees.