Boris Johnson Survives His ‘Lockdown Parties’ Scandal—for Now

Boris Johnson Survives His ‘Lockdown Parties’ Scandal—for Now
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street, in London, Jan. 19, 2022 (AP photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth).

Over the past few weeks, a steady stream of revelations about parties held at No. 10 Downing Street during periods of government-mandated lockdown has British Prime Minister Boris Johnson fighting for his political life.

The most damaging revelation yet came this week when the public learned that Johnson attended a “bring your own bottle,” or BYOB, party in the garden of No. 10, which doubles as the prime minister’s office and official residence, on May 20, 2020, during the U.K.’s most intense wave of coronavirus infections at the onset of the pandemic. The gathering almost certainly violated his own government’s lockdown rules, and Johnson’s implausible denials insisting he didn’t know he was attending a “party” have only further infuriated the public.

Faced with outraged calls from their constituents demanding the prime minister’s resignation, a number of MPs from Johnson’s Conservative Party tried to oust him yesterday, but they fell short of the threshold of 54 letters needed to trigger a confidence vote within the party. Yesterday also saw a dramatic and fiery debate in Parliament, where Tory grandee David Davis, himself a former Brexit secretary who served alongside Johnson in the Cabinet of former Prime Minister Theresa May and a key figure in the Leave movement to exit the European Union, told Johnson, “In the name of God, go.” 

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.