UK’s Johnson jeered at Platinum Jubilee service

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LONDON, June 3 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was met with boos and jeers as he arrived at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral for a Service of Thanksgiving for Queen Elizabeth on Friday, reflecting the mounting pressure he is facing in office.

As Johnson and his wife Carrie climbed the steps outside the cathedral, in front of leading members of the military and the church, thousands of royal fans started to jeer and boo.

Some of those in the crowd clapped and started to cheer.

Johnson has faced widespread calls from opposition politicians, and some in his own party, to resign over a “partygate” scandal after it was revealed both he and Downing Street officials broke stringent laws his government made during the pandemic.

The fine is believed to mark the first time a British leader has been found to have broken the law while in office.

Johnson swept to power in 2019 on a promise to complete Britain’s exit from the European Union, but his premiership has suffered a series of controversies and missteps in recent months.

Polls show his personal popularity has plummeted and a growing number of lawmakers in his own party have called for Johnson to quit, with speculation he might face a leadership challenge.

The couple were arriving for the Service of Thanksgiving, being held on the second day of the four-day Platinum Jubilee national celebration. Former prime ministers including Tony Blair and David Cameron were met with polite applause.

The politicians were arriving before the royal family. The queen will watch the service from her Windsor Castle home due to a recurrence of “episodic mobility problems”.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (C) arrives for the National Service of Thanksgiving as part of the celebrations of the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, Britain, 03 June 2022. Queen Elizabeth II will not be attending the service after experiencing ‘discomfort’. The service celebrates the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, marking the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne on 06 February 1952. EPA-EFE/TOLGA AKMEN

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