Johnson Also Had Indoor Birthday Party Despite the Rules

Tweets point out children were managing to follow restrictions and cancel their parties
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2022 4:16 PM CST
Johnson Also Had Indoor Birthday Party Despite the Rules
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson elbow bumps Karen Ives, lead resuscitation practitioner and vaccination trainer at a coronavirus vaccination training hub , during a visit to Milton Keynes University Hospital in Buckinghamshire, England, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.   (Adrian Dennis/Pool Photo via AP)

(Newser) – Boris Johnson already was under intense pressure to resign before the latest report of his breaking his government's COVID-19 restrictions. On Monday, ITV News reported that another Johnson party, during the first lockdown, violated rules that all of England was supposed to be following—a surprise birthday party planned by his wife, Carrie. As many as 30 people attended the gathering in the Cabinet Room on June 19, 2020, which included food and cake, lasting no more than a half-hour. Another party followed that evening upstairs in the official residence, per ITV, with family and friends.

Johnson's office says there was no upstairs party that evening, just an outside one with a few family members. The prime minister spent only about 10 minutes at the afternoon party, aides said. That one included Carrie Johnson leading staff members in a round of "Happy Birthday"; at the time, singing in groups was discouraged because of fear of spreading the virus, and choruses canceled their practices. Outdoor gatherings of no more than six people were allowed, per the Guardian, but no indoor gatherings were. Two weeks later, the rules were eased to allow people from two households to be in the same indoor space. Pubs, hairdressers, theaters, and most schools were shut.

There was negative reaction on social media to the report, with one woman posting that she was explaining to a 6-year-old on that day why birthday parties couldn't be held. "She was brave and understood," the tweet said. A few months earlier, Johnson had commended in a post "the great example" another girl set in postponing her seventh birthday party. On the day of Johnson's party, his office had thanked the public on Twitter for "following the rules," adding: "We must keep going to keep the [COVID alert] level down." The government reported that day that the pandemic death toll had risen by 173, to a total of 42,461. (Read more Boris Johnson stories.)

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