Boris Johnson Faces Fresh Calls to Resign Over 2020 Birthday Party

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Key Borisgov
Boris Johnson Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hit with fresh calls to resign following reports that he celebrated his birthday inside his official residence in Downing Street on June 19, 2020, while the country was under a COVID-19 lockdown with a strict ban on indoor gatherings.

“We cannot have a country in which any of us… is above the law, but in this circumstance the Prime Minister should simply resign, step aside and go,” Labour lawmaker and shadow foreign secretary David Lammy told Sky News broadcaster.

After asking the rhetorical question “why is he still in office?”, Lammy recalled that at the time Johnson reportedly attended the celebration organized by his staff to mark his birthday, the rules were clear that no more than two people could gather indoors.

“Why was there one rule for young people across the country who couldn’t have birthday parties, for our own Queen and sovereign who couldn’t have a birthday party, but a different situation for Boris Johnson?” he asked.

Spokesperson for COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, Saleyha Ahsan, also joined the calls for Johnson’s resignation, saying that it is time for Johnson “to fall on his sword and stand down.”

“Respect in leadership is earned. I’m afraid he has no respect,” she told Sky News.

The ITV News channel reported on Monday evening that up 30 people, including Johnson’s then fiancee, Carrie Symonds, and an interior designer who was working at the time in the prime minister’s official residence, attended the event, sang him Happy Birthday and were served cake.

Johnson’s office has admitted that on the day in question, staff only gathered briefly to wish him a happy birthday and that the prime minister had been in the room for less than 10 minutes.

Johnson has so far resisted increasing calls for his resignation, arguing that an internal inquiry into the alleged violations of the COVID-19 rules by his staff and himself is currently underway.

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