UK’s Johnson faulted for lockdown parties but won’t quit
An investigative report released Wednesday blamed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other senior leaders for allowing boozy government parties that broke the U.K.'s COVID-19 lockdown rules, and while Johnson said he took "full responsibility" for the breaches, he insisted he would not resign.
Revelations that Johnson and his staff repeatedly flouted restrictions they imposed on Britain in 2020 and 2021 have fueled outrage in the country and led to calls from opponents for Johnson to step down over the scandal known as "partygate."
Most lawmakers in Johnson's governing Conservative Party have stood by him for now, and it's not yet clear if senior civil servant Sue Gray's report will change that, despite its detailed descriptions of alcohol-fueled bashes in the building where the prime minister both lives and works.
Gray investigated 16 gatherings attended by Johnson and his staff while U.K. residents were barred from socializing, or even from visiting sick and dying relatives, because of coronavirus restrictions.
Gray's report concluded that the "senior leadership team ... must bear responsibility" for a rule-breaking culture. She said there had been "failures of leadership and judgment" in the prime minister's 10 Downing St. office.
"Those in the most junior positions attended gatherings at which their seniors were present, or indeed organized," she said.
A separate police investigation resulted in fines for 83 people, including Johnson, making him the first British prime minister found to have broken the law while in office.
Speaking to lawmakers after the report was published, Johnson said he took "full responsibility for everything that took place" and was sorry, but denied he knowingly break any rules. He...