UK PM Johnson must address culture that led to lockdown parties – Conservative chairman

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LONDON, Jan 16 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson must address the culture within his government that resulted in multiple staff gatherings at his residence during coronavirus lockdowns, Conservative Party Chairman Oliver Dowden said.

Johnson has apologised for attending a gathering in the garden of his Downing Street residence in May 2020 where staff had been invited to bring their own alcohol at a time when strict rules forbade the public from almost all socialising.

Amid a public backlash at the perception that the government did not follow its own rules during the pandemic, an internal investigation is looking at that party and several others – including two separate parties on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral. 

“We need to find out the facts and then the Prime Minister needs to respond effectively and to address the culture in Downing Street,” Dowden told the BBC on Sunday.

The scandal has generated calls for Johnson to resign – including from within his own party – and seen the Conservatives fall far behind the opposition Labour Party in opinion polls.



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