Boris Johnson 'partygate': Resignation or police action? What could happen next?

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Jan 15, 2022, 04:50 PM IST


Story highlights

What will happen next? Will there be an official investigation? Will Boris resign?

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologised after reports of Downing Street parties and after-parties emerged. He faced a massive backlash from the opposition party and common people when reports suggested that the parties were held when such gatherings and festivities were banned in the country owing to the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown in 2020. 

As reports of more parties keep coming, the question here is: what will happen next? Will there be an official investigation? Will Boris resign? Read here what are the possibilities. 

Boris Johnson to resign?

In a recent interview with Sky News, former Prime Minister David Cameron said, "He's [Boris] always been able to get away with things that mere mortals can't." 

Reports have stated that Johnson might treat the apology that he issued on Wednesday (January 12) as enough to get him off the hook. 

A possible police action?

Boris could also be largely exonerated from responsibility by a senior civil servant, Sue Gray, who is conducting a fact-finding investigation into the claims. 

The Times on Friday said Gray's report was likely to conclude there was no criminal breach of coronavirus rules. 

London police have said they have been in touch with the Cabinet Office about the garden party claims but said Thursday their next step depends on what Gray says. 

It has been criticised for declaring it would not retrospectively investigate potential breaches of coronavirus restrictions. Should it launch a criminal probe, the pressure on Johnson would mount.

The story so far...

Johnson has faced heavy criticism over multiple incidents related to the handling of coronavirus (COVID-19). Firstly, reports emerged of Downing Street garden party, which apparently took place last year, on May 15. The photo of the same went viral. In the photo, Johnson's staff can be seen laughing and joking about in the gathering when such festivities were banned in the country. 

Secondly, Boris apologised for attending a party held in the Downing Street office during the lockdown after Dominic Cummings said that the investigation should be done on the "Socially Distanced Drinks" email sent on May 20, 2020. 

Telegraph reported two leaving parties or farewell parties were held in No 10 on the eve of Prince Philip's funeral. Downing Street apologises to the Queen for two parties held in Downing Street the night before Prince Philip's funeral. 

The latest media reports have claimed that Downing Street held gatherings every week throughout the pandemic. The staff even invested in a £142 refrigerator to keep their beer and wine cold. 

(With inputs from agencies)