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Fresh images of UK PM consuming reignite ‘Partygate’ row


LONDON:

New pictures of Prime Minister Boris Johnson consuming at a leaving celebration at his Downing Street residence have been printed, reigniting opposition accusations that he breached his personal Covid-19 lockdown rules.

The pictures, obtained by ITV News, had been taken at a gathering in honour of Downing Street’s outgoing director of communications Lee Cain in November 2020, an occasion beforehand investigated by police for potential breaches of the legislation.

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Monday’s pictures present Johnson making a speech and elevating a toast, with half a glass in his arms, ITV stated.

At that point, massive gatherings had been banned after England had been put again right into a nationwide lockdown as a result of rising instances of Covid-19.

Reuters couldn’t independently confirm when or the place the images had been taken. Johnson’s workplace has stated police had entry to all data throughout their investigation, together with images.

Johnson was not fined for collaborating within the November 2020 occasion, although he was issued with a set penalty discover for a Downing Street gathering to mark his birthday in June that yr, an occasion which he stated lasted not more than 10 minutes.

He has apologised for what he referred to as a mistake however refused to resign over the difficulty.

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The Metropolitan police referred to an announcement asserting the top of its investigations final week when requested if it had been conscious of the Cain leaving celebration footage throughout its investigation.

The Cabinet Office, which has been dealing with a separate authorities investigation into the events, declined to remark.

The authorities is anticipated this week to publish a long-awaited report by the senior civil servant Sue Gray into the occasions held at Johnson’s Downing Street workplace throughout coronavirus lockdowns. Police have handed out 126 fines in reference to the events.

The report, which is anticipated to incorporate particulars of some occasions that weren’t investigated by the police, might spur extra criticism of the British chief, who has been below months of strain over a number of scandals and U-turns.

The new images seem to undermine a few of Johnson’s earlier statements. When requested in parliament in December about stories of a celebration at his residence the earlier month, Johnson stated that he was certain “the rules were followed at all times”.

Angela Rayner, the opposition Labour Party’s deputy chief, accused Johnson of mendacity.

“Boris Johnson said repeatedly that he knew nothing about law-breaking – there’s no doubt now, he lied,” Rayner stated. “Johnson made the rules, and then broke them.”

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