Downing Street is influenced by a culture of “excessive” drinking in the workplace, which has led to social gatherings in the UK, according to a much-anticipated report from the UK government investigation released on Monday. time of the pandemic.
The document describing leadership failures in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office, although it is not directly related to Mr Johnson’s misconduct, should leave that ruling to a separate police investigation. . That may give him some political breathing space, but it is unlikely to dispel the cloud of what has become a career-threatening scandal.
The report by a senior civil servant, Sue Grey, looked at the most potentially damaging findings at the request of London’s Metropolitan Police, which has launched its own investigation into the alleged breaches. locked the door last week. In a nutshell, the document was so released on Monday that the Cabinet Office described it as an “update” on Ms Gray’s investigation rather than a report.
Even in its redacted form, however, the report paints a disturbing portrait of the work culture at Downing Street, where employees organize alcoholic gatherings with colleagues during a time when the government is urging the public to avoid social contact, even with close friends. and relatives. Accusations of double standards have engulfed Mr Johnson’s government and threatened his hold on power.
“At least some of the gatherings mentioned show a serious failure not only to comply with the high standards expected of those working at the government center, but also the standards expected of the government. the entire British population at the time,” Mrs Gray said in one of her joint findings.
“There were failures in leadership and judgment by different departments of Number 10 and the Cabinet Office at different times,” she continued. “Some events should not have happened. Other events should not have been allowed to develop as they did.”
Miss Gray specifically aims to drink regularly at these events. “Excessive alcohol consumption is inappropriate in the professional workplace,” she wrote, adding that government agencies should have “a clear and robust policy to cover alcohol consumption in the workplace.” work “.
The prime minister has somewhat upended his position in recent days and the findings published on Monday did not immediately sound like a new threat to him. But at a minimum, they raise operational conundrums that Mr Johnson and his senior aides have put together at Downing Street.
Mr Johnson, who spoke to Parliament about the report on Monday, tried to avoid a vote of no confidence in his leadership by Conservative lawmakers. Such a vote would be called if the 54 members sent secret messages asking for it. That threshold has yet to be met, and it’s unlikely the details released Monday will lead to a new flood of dissent.
Indeed, Downing Street moves quickly to change the subject. Mr. Johnson is expected to have a call with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin on Monday to discuss rising tensions in Ukraine, although that did not come amid congressional questions. Ask about the report. He is scheduled to visit the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Tuesday.
Britain has taken a more assertive policy toward Ukraine in recent weeks. But Mr Johnson has been forced to give most of the attention to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Defense Secretary Ben Wallace while he grapples with a mutiny within his Conservative Party because of the party scandal.
At the end of the week, the government will release a report on the “leveling program”, a blueprint to support economically disadvantaged areas in the north of the country, which is central to its agenda. their legislation.
Mr Johnson hopes to placate Conservative lawmakers, many of whom were brought into Parliament in 2019 on the strength of Mr Johnson’s ‘Let’s get Brexit done’ campaign slogan but who have become should be disillusioned with him, especially after the revelation about the pandemic of socialization at Downing Street.
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/01/31/world/boris-johnson-party/who-is-sue-gray-whose-report-could-topple-boris-johnson Boris Johnson faces outcry after reports paint a pathetic picture of Downing Street