• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Senior minister Michael Gove apologises for controversial lockdown-breaking party video

“It’s terrible,” Michael Gove, the housing minister, said. “I think it’s completely out of order. I just want to apologise to everyone really.” (Getty Images)

By: easterneye.biz Staff

Michael Gove, a senior British minister on Sunday (18) expressed his dismay over a video showcasing a party that took place at the headquarters of the ruling Conservative Party during a Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, describing it “terrible.”

The government continues to grapple with the repercussions of rule-breaking gatherings, as highlighted by this incident.

The video was released by the Mirror newspaper shortly after a parliamentary committee concluded that former Prime Minister Boris Johnson had deliberately misled lawmakers regarding lockdown-breaching parties held at his office.

A 45-second video clip has surfaced, showing individuals celebrating and engaging in a party in December 2020, a period when the London public was prohibited from indoor socialising to curb the transmission of Covid-19.

The video captures scenes of people dancing and consuming drinks.

Notably, two attendees present at the gathering, which had previously drawn police attention when a still photograph from the event came to light, were included in the honours list issued by Johnson upon his resignation earlier this month.

“It’s terrible,” Gove, the housing minister, told Sky News. “I think it’s completely out of order. I just want to apologise to everyone really.”

The matter of rule-breaking incidents during Covid lockdowns played a significant role in the downfall of Johnson, who departed from office last year.

The repercussions of these incidents continue to cast a shadow over the Conservative Party and the current Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak.

Just days before the privileges committee, the primary disciplinary authority for lawmakers, delivered a damning verdict against him, Johnson resigned as a member of parliament on June 9.

This development has reignited public anger and revived divisions within the party.

Polls suggest the Conservatives, in power since 2010, are trailing the opposition Labour party by about 20% percentage points. The next election must be held by late 2024.

Vote on Johnson

On Monday (19), lawmakers are scheduled to vote on whether to approve the privileges committee’s report.
While the vote holds mostly symbolic significance since Johnson has already resigned as a lawmaker, his supporters have warned that those who endorse the report’s findings may encounter a backlash from Conservative members and even face de-selection as parliamentary candidates.

Gove said he would abstain, saying parts of the report were “excellent” but he did not agree with its conclusion that Johnson should have been suspended from parliament for 90 days had he remained a lawmaker. He said he did not know what Sunak himself would do.

(Reuters)

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