London police contact Boris Johnson over alleged lockdown parties
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office said on Saturday that he has been contacted by London police regarding the lockdown parties that allegedly took place in ministerial buildings, including 10 Downing St., during the pandemic, The Associated Press reported.
His office said that he had been given a questionnaire to fill out as London’s Metropolitan Police investigate a series of parties that allegedly occurred while COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns were in place, the news wire noted.
When contacted for comment, London police directed The Hill to a statement they issued on Wednesday, and said they would not be giving any additional information.
“Detectives investigating allegations of breaches of Covid-19 regulations in Downing Street and Whitehall will by the end of this week begin contacting people believed to have taken part in the events in question to get their accounts,” police said in their statement on Wednesday. “The officers, from what has been named Operation Hillman, will be sending formal questionnaires to more than 50 people.”
The statement did not mention Johnson’s name.
Last month, London police announced that they would be looking into the lockdown parties, which number over a dozen. Johnson apologized in the House of Commons for taking part in a “bring your own booze” party that he acknowledged his secretary had organized during the height of COVID-19 lockdowns.
“I know the anguish that they have been through, unable to mourn their relatives, unable to live their lives as they want, or to do the things they love,” he said, according to The Washington Post. “And I know the rage they feel with me, and with the government I lead, when they think that in Downing Street itself, they think the rules are not being followed by the people who make the rules.”
The prime minister signaled last month that he would not resign amid the growing controversy.
Officials and high profile candidates in the U.S. have similarly been scrutinized in recent days over COVID-19 restrictions. Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D) who posed maskless for a photo with masked children during an event at an elementary school. She has since apologized.
“I approached the podium with my mask on. I followed the protocols. I told the kids I’m taking my mask off because I’m reading to kids who are listening remotely as well, and we were socially distanced — the kids were socially distanced from me,” Abrams said in an interview on CNN’s “OutFront” with Erin Burnett.
“In the excitement after I finished, because it was so much fun working with those kids, I took a picture, and that was a mistake. Protocols matter, and protecting our kids is the most important thing, and anything that can be perceived as undermining that is a mistake, and I apologize,” she added.
The Hill has reached out to the prime minister’s office for comment.