14th January, 2022
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office apologised to Queen Elizabeth on Friday after it emerged that staff had partied late into the night in Downing Street on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral.
The party held at a time when mixing indoors was banned.
Johnson is facing the gravest crisis of his premiership after almost daily revelations about a series of social gatherings during COVID-19 lockdowns.
Some parties were held when ordinary people could not bid farewell in person to dying relatives.
After building a political career out of flouting accepted norms, Johnson is now under growing pressure from some of his own lawmakers to quit.
Opponents said he is unfit to rule and has misled parliament by denying COVID-19 guidance was breached.
In an extraordinary twist to a saga that has been widely lampooned by comedians and cartoon artists, the Daily Telegraph said drinks parties were held inside Downing Street on April 16, 2021, the day before Prince Philip’s funeral.
The party was to send-off James Slack, who is now deputy editor of The Sun newspaper. Johnson did not attend the party.
“It is deeply regrettable this took place at a time of national mourning and No. 10 (Downing Street) has apologised to the Palace,” Johnson’s spokesman told reporters.
Johnson was at his Chequers country residence that day and was not invited to any gathering, his spokesman said.
Such was the revelry in Downing Street, the Telegraph said, that staff went to a nearby supermarket to buy a suitcase of alcohol, spilled wine on carpets, and a swing used by the prime minister’s young son was broken.
The next day, Queen Elizabeth bade farewell to Prince Philip, her husband of 73 years, following his death aged 99.