United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister (PM) Boris Johnson acknowledged and apologised for attending a garden party at his Downing Street office in May 2020 after receiving backlash from the public and politicians for flouting lockdown rules imposed by the PM himself, as per news agency Associated Press.
The PM claimed that he had considered the “socially distanced drinks” gathering in his Downing residence, to which over a 100 people were invited, as a “work event” during the first lockdown.
At the time, Britain was under a strict lockdown following a massive surge in COVID-19 cases and millions of people were prohibited from meeting more than one person outside their household or visit dying relatives in hospitals.
"I want to apologize… With hindsight, I should have sent everyone back inside."Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister, told lawmakers in the House of Commons
The widespread anger is shared by members of his own Conservative party, apart from the Opposition and the public, over the PM’s leadership and lack of judgment during the pandemic and have called for him to step down from his post.
Angela Rayner, deputy leader of the Opposition Labour Party, said, “People have been reflecting about what was happening to them at the time in May and many people are still grieving their loved ones who they weren’t able to say goodbye to at the time, and to think the prime minister was laughing and partying is just unforgivable,” she told the BBC.
She added that if the PM had “lied to the British public, lied to Parliament and he has attended parties during lockdown, then his position is untenable.”
(With inputs from the Associated Press.)