Simon Case, the highest ranking official in the UK civil service, He resigned this Friday from the task of investigating the parties in which Downing Street personnel allegedly bypassed the restrictions against the pandemic, when it was known that he himself could participate in a celebration.
The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, had commissioned Case, Cabinet secretary, to investigate the accusations that staff from his official residence and the Ministry of Education organized in 2020 Christmas celebrations prohibited by anticovid regulations.
Press leaks about those celebrations had already triggered the resignation of a Johnson adviser, Allegra Stratton, and they have taken their toll on the public image of the prime minister, who has fallen in the polls and lost a by-election yesterday in a traditionally conservative constituency.
Case was expected to release his findings on those alleged Christmas parties this week. But nevertheless, British media have revealed that in December 2020, between 15 and 20 Case office employees held their own Christmas party, when the restrictions banned any indoor social gathering and recommended working from home as much as possible.
Sources cited by The Independent Y Politico they assure that the Cabinet secretary was present at various times during the celebration and drank with the rest of the staff.
Following these revelations, a Downing Street spokesperson announced that the investigation into the holidays will now be “concluded” by Sue Gray, second permanent secretary in the Ministry of Territorial Balance, Housing and Communities.
“To ensure that the ongoing investigation maintains the trust of citizens, the cabinet secretary has recused himself“Said that spokesman.
Previously, the Cabinet Office of the Government had assured that the accusations against Case were “categorically false”.
Boris Johnson, in the middle of the controversy
Boris Johnson also participated in a party with staff from their Downing Street office in May 2020, during the first confinement of the pandemic, according to research published by The Guardian Y The Independent.
The president joined for 15 minutes a social meeting with drinks that brought together about 20 staff members after a press conference by the then Minister of Health, Matt Hancock, to report on the expansion of COVID-19, according to what was reported by those media.
At that stage of the pandemic, The strict regulations in force in England only allowed social encounters between two people from different family nuclei in an outdoor space, keeping a distance of at least two meters.
That same afternoon, the Health Minister asked the British to “stay home as much as possible” and begged them: “Please follow the rules, keep an eye on your family and don’t take risks.”
According to sources cited by The IndependentJohnson told one of the attendees at that alleged celebration that they deserved a drink to “hit back” at the coronavirus.
One of Johnson’s advisers, Allegra Stratton, resigned a week ago after a video came to light in which he admitted that there was a “party” in Downing Street in December last year, although the head of Government has insisted that the rules in force at that time were not broken .
(With information from EFE)