Downing Street party: Was Johnson warned?

DBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday “categorically ruled out” that he had been warned against a party in his official garden. Earlier, his former chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, had indicated his willingness to testify under oath that the Prime Minister lied to Parliament. On his blog, Cummings claimed to have asked Johnson to “fix the madhouse” before a party in May 2020. However, Johnson “brushed that aside”. Cummings also assured that he and another colleague alerted the party’s host, Johnson’s speaker Martin Reynolds, that the party was violating Corona rules. Reynolds then agreed to discuss this with Johnson. At the same time, Cummings threatened new incriminating material. There would be “many more party photos coming up,” he predicted.

Opposition politicians demanded on Tuesday that Johnson immediately declare himself before the House of Commons. It must be clear “who is lying here”. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Justice Minister Dominic Raab defended and believed the Prime Minister. Raab called Cummings’ allegation “nonsense”. He did not want to take part in this “soap opera” and referred to the ongoing “Partygate” investigation. The result, which Johnson wants to comment on in the House of Commons, is expected every day.

Should Johnson be shown to have deliberately misinformed Parliament, it would be in violation of the code of conduct for ministers, which provides for a resignation in such a case. Johnson said in the House of Commons last week that he felt he had joined a “working meeting” on the evening of May 20, 2020. This would only be credible, if at all, if he had not seen the invitation email and had no one pointed out the nature of the event. Guests had been invited to take advantage of the “beautiful weather” and bring their own alcohol.

Cummings retired from Downing Street duty at the end of 2020. Since then he has been waging a private war against his former boss and regularly accuses him of allegations that are often documented. “Dominic will do anything to kick down the door,” the Financial Times quoted a former colleague as saying earlier in the week. “Sometimes people ask when he will stop destroying Boris. The answer is: never.”

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