July 1, 2022

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Downing Street Wine Closing, Johnson Now Risks – Europe

A new tile for Boris Johnson, who risks becoming heavier after the Christmas scandal of his collaborators. An image, published by the Guardian newspaper, depicts the British Prime Minister during lockdown days in May 2020, when social gatherings were banned, sitting next to his wife in Downing Street Park, with bottles of wine as evidence. And all around him were many of his assistants, without moving away. Although the government confirmed that it was a “working meeting”. Rumors of a social event in Downing Street on May 15, 2020 have been denied in recent days by the Prime Minister’s spokesperson, who clarified: Staff work in the garden in the afternoon and evening.

The photo published by the Guardian newspaper raises doubts at least. Johnson is seated at an outdoor table with his wife Carrie and two others, with bottles of wine and cheese on display. A little further away is another table with four people and more wine. While they were in the garden, nine others were standing around a table, with alcohol, all close to each other. In an objectively calm atmosphere, not as a business meeting. The Guardian itself, along with The Independent, has already given the news of the May 15th meeting in the park. According to his sources, the Prime Minister spent about 15 minutes with the employees, explaining that they deserve a drink to “fend off” Covid. And about twenty employees, on that occasion, were drinking wine and spirits and eating pizza. Immediately after a press conference by Matt Hancock in which the then-health secretary urged citizens to respect the rules and not take advantage of the good weather over the weekend in May for socializing in groups, the photo sparked protests from the opposition. For Labor number two Angela Rayner, this is a “slap in the face to the British public”, and “the prime minister constantly shows us that he does not respect the rules he sets for the rest of us”. For Johnson, sure, that was one of the worst weeks. Because in a few days he had to combine the loss of a historic Conservative stronghold after a humiliating electoral defeat in a by-election and above all an inner Conservative party with a hundred MPs who voted against Plan B. launched by the government to deal with the health crisis.

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As if that wasn’t enough, his minister and chief Brexit negotiator, David Frost, has resigned because he has been disappointed by Downing Street’s policies on Covid. He left the government in disarray on the eve of complex new negotiations with Brussels over the Northern Ireland Protocol. Loyal to Johnson – who was once called “the greatest frost since 1709” as he pronounces his nickname, which means “frost”, and the coldest winter in European history – the former Brexit negotiator now leaves a huge void. In a letter to the prime minister, he spoke of the government’s “concern for direction” and disappointment with “coercive policies” being implemented by Downing Street, particularly with regard to Covid restrictions, climate and taxation. “The country must learn to live with Covid,” Lord Frost is convinced, of the need for “more agile” policies. Pogo admitted his resignation, saying he was “extremely sorry”, while Foreign Secretary Liz Truss took charge of Britain’s exit from the European Union. A week forgotten for the prime minister.