LONDON – Awaiting report on lock breaking party in Downing Street, which could force his resignation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson raised another issue on Wednesday – whether he would allow the evacuation of dogs and cats from Afghanistan.
Mr Johnson is coming to a pivotal moment in his leadership as he prepares to release the findings from an internal investigation conducted by a public servant, Grayinto a string of gatherings held in Downing Street while Britons are subject to strict coronavirus rules.
On Wednesday in Parliament, Mr Johnson rejected calls for him to quit, insisting he was “going to work”.
But the prime minister was also attacked after a public email showed he had falsely denied his role in a British animal charity’s rescue of cats and dogs from Afghanistan last year. Kabul fell into the hands of the Taliban.
Mr Johnson has dismissed “nonsense” claims that he interfered with the evacuation of the Nowzad animal charity, run by Pen Farthing, a former member of the British army and has made safety a priority. entirely for dogs and cats than for humans.
Those denials appeared to contradict a message from a British diplomat released on Wednesday by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee.
The email was written by an official working for Zac Goldsmith, a minister and a close ally of Mr Johnson, saying the animal rescue charity “received a lot of publicity” and noted that the The general “has just authorized personnel and their animals to be evacuated.”
John Healey, who speaks for the opposition Labor Party on defense matters, said on Wednesday that “once again the prime minister has been found lying about what he has done and decided.”
Healey added in a statement: “He should never have prioritized animals flying out of Afghanistan while the Afghans working for our armed forces were left behind.
The latest blow to Mr Johnson comes on Monday due to confusion over the release of Ms Grey’s report.
Her findings will be submitted in advance to Downing Street before they are made public. Mr Johnson has promised to then make a statement to Parliament, and many Conservative lawmakers are awaiting that. before they decide whether to try to overthrow the prime minister.
A total of 54 of them will need to send a letter to a senior colleague to trigger a vote of no confidence in the prime minister.
Ominously for Mr Johnson, the Metropolitan Police on Tuesday announced that it would investigate possible offenses in Downing Street based on information shared by Ms Grey.
Understanding Boris Johnson’s Recent Troubles
Her report is expected this week, but Downing Street said on Wednesday that it wanted to be assured that none of it would affect the police investigation when it is released. declare. The launch of the police investigation suggested that Ms. Gray had disclosed enough to make the report difficult to read for Mr. Johnson and some of the public servants who worked for him.
The danger is particularly acute for the prime minister as he is accused of misleading Parliament about what he knows about Downing Street gatherings, something that is often seen as a matter of resignation.
Mr Johnson initially insisted that all coronavirus rules be followed, but after the leak he admitted he had attended an event in his garden during the lockdown that around 100 invitees “bring their own wine.”
Mr Johnson apologized for the May 2020 incident, but said he thought he was attending a work event.
Subsequent revelations included that, while Mr Johnson was away, staff used a suitcase to bring in alcohol to a party into Downing Street the evening before the funeral of Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II. At that event, a discotheque was set up in the basement and Mr Johnson’s toddler son’s swing broke down when staff members were drinking in the early hours, according to media reports.
More bad news for Mr Johnson came earlier this week when ITV News reported that up to 30 people ate cake in the Cabinet Room to celebrate Mr Johnson’s birthday in June 2020.
However, supporters have rallied behind Mr Johnson’s back, with some considering the birthday celebration trivial. Conor Burns, a minister and ally of Mr Johnson, said: “In a sense he was ambushed with a pie.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/26/world/europe/boris-johnson-lockdown-party.html Awaiting party reports, Johnson faces fire because of evacuation in Afghanistan