Fury over the release of a video showing Downing Street staffers joking about alleged lockdown breaches in the UK are only the latest scandal to rock British prime minister Boris Johnson’s premiership.
For days, a succession of government ministers batted away questions about whether an illegal party had been held in Downing Street last December during Covid restrictions that banned gatherings of more than 30 people. But on Tuesday night that all changed: a video emerged of Downing Street staffers appearing to joke about a party alleged to have been held inside No 10 just days earlier.
It provoked a wave of anger both within and out of parliament. Eventually Boris Johnson surfaced at prime minister’s questions to apologise for the content of the video – but also to continue to claim that no rules had actually been broken in his official residence.
The Guardian’s political correspondent Peter Walker looks back on a week of drama in which Boris Johnson also returned to the podium in Downing Street to announce new plan B coronavirus restrictions, sparking a further revolt on his own backbenches. Then, on Thursday, further questions about his judgment were raised after the Conservative party was fined £17,800 for serious donation reporting failures over the financing of the Downing Street flat redecoration.
Listen to the latest Today in Focus podcast here.
Singapore reports first locally transmitted Omicron case