Boris Johnson’s Workplace Apologizes to Queen for Events

LONDON — Capping every week of abject contrition, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain apologized on Friday to Buckingham Palace for raucous events held in Downing Avenue the evening earlier than Queen Elizabeth II buried her husband, Prince Philip, in a socially distanced ceremony that left her grieving alone in a choir stall.

Mr. Johnson, who apologized in Parliament on Wednesday for attending a backyard celebration throughout a lockdown in 2020, was not current both of those two gatherings. However the reviews of extra alcohol-fueled socializing at Downing Avenue, on the eve of a somber funeral ceremony remembered for its poignant picture of an remoted, masked monarch, dealt a recent blow to an already reeling prime minister.

“It’s deeply regrettable that this occurred at a time of nationwide mourning,” a spokesman for Downing Avenue mentioned as outrage over the events mounted, “and No. 10 has apologized to the palace for that.”

Buckingham Palace, which has been preoccupied by a disaster of its personal, declined to touch upon the apology. On Thursday, the queen stripped her second son, Prince Andrew, of his army titles and royal charities after a decide in New York dominated {that a} intercourse abuse lawsuit in opposition to him might go forward.

The Downing Avenue spokesman didn’t say whether or not Mr. Johnson deliberate to apologize personally to the queen the subsequent time he has a weekly viewers together with her. His show of regret for the celebration in Might 2020, nonetheless contrite, has did not calm the tempest swirling round him, with opposition leaders and even a handful of Conservative Occasion lawmakers saying he ought to step down.

“This exhibits simply how severely Boris Johnson has degraded the workplace of prime minister,” the Labour Occasion chief, Keir Starmer, mentioned in a publish on Twitter. “An apology isn’t the one factor the prime minister ought to be providing the palace immediately. Boris Johnson ought to do the first rate factor and resign.”

The bacchanalian particulars of the 2 events on April 16, first reported within the Every day Telegraph, are vivid. For one in every of them, the newspaper mentioned, a workers member was dispatched to a close-by store to refill a suitcase with bottles of wine. An aide acted as a disc jockey, and the revelers continued till the early hours of the morning, even breaking a yard swing utilized by Mr. Johnson’s toddler son, Wilfred. Mr. Johnson was away on the prime minister’s nation residence, Chequers, on the time, officers mentioned.

One of many occasions was a farewell celebration for a Downing Avenue press spokesman, James Slack, who left to turn out to be deputy editor of The Solar, one in every of Rupert Murdoch’s tabloids. The Solar reported on the celebration after its competitors broke it.

“I want to apologize unreservedly for the anger and harm induced,” Mr. Slack mentioned in an announcement on Friday. “This occasion mustn’t have occurred on the time that it did. I’m deeply sorry and take full accountability.”

Reeling from the latest revelations, Mr. Johnson has requested lawmakers to attend for the findings of an inner investigation of the events by a senior civil servant, Sue Grey. That’s not anticipated till subsequent week on the earliest, with expectations rising that Ms Grey will give attention to the tradition of ingesting within the prime minister’s workplace.

The overseas secretary, Liz Truss, who’s considered as a possible successor to Mr. Johnson, appealed to the general public to maneuver on. “He has apologized,” she advised reporters. “I feel we now want to maneuver on and discuss how we’re going to type out points.”

However that appeared unlikely, particularly given the tabloid-ready nature of the newest reviews, which juxtaposed descriptions of raucous merrymaking in Downing Avenue with austere photographs of the bereaved queen, remoted in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Fortress. The funeral was so constrained by lockdown necessities that Mr. Johnson himself gave up his place to permit an additional member of the royal household to attend.

In her annual Christmas tackle, the queen paid tribute to her late husband and lamented how the pandemic had curtailed vacation celebrations.

“Whereas Covid once more means we will’t rejoice fairly as we could have wished,” she mentioned, “we will nonetheless benefit from the many joyful traditions.”

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