Boris Johnson gets some breathing room from the 'partygate" woes

LONDON (AP), -- Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister, was caught partying during a pandemic. He bought himself some breathing room with an apology and a promise of change. His troubles are not over.

Boris Johnson gets some breathing room from the 'partygate" woes

Johnson struggled to rally a rebellious Conservative Party after an inquiry found failures at the top. This led to Downing Street staff hosting boozy parties during lockdown.

After Sue Gray, a senior civil servant, found that "failures in leadership and judgment" permitted events that were "not allowed to happen," he told Parliament lawmakers "I get it and I will fix them."

Johnson addressed a number of Conservative legislators in closed-doors on Monday night. He assured them that he takes criticisms seriously, and promised to tighten his grip on Downing Street's dysfunctional operation. Gray discovered that it was plagued by excessive drinking and dysfunctional dynamics.

Johnson rallied his Cabinet on Tuesday at its weekly meeting before flying to Kyiv to meet with Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukrainian President, over the Russia-Ukraine crises.

Dominic Raab, Deputy Prime Minister, defended Johnson Tuesday. He stated that Johnson believed he acted in good-faite on all the advice he received at all times.

Johnson's power grab has been shaken by revelations about his staff holding "bring your own alcohol" office parties, birthday celebrations, and "wine Fridays" at Downing Street during 2020 and 2021. This was when Britons were prohibited from socializing in an effort to slow the spread the coronavirus.

It's possible that there will be more. Gray released only four of the 16 events she investigated, as police are still investigating the rest. This includes an alleged ABBA-themed party at the Downing Street home of the prime minister. Gray will produce a complete report after the police investigation is over. After intense pressure, the government initially refused to publish a full report but later agreed to it late Monday.

Many Conservatives are waiting to see if the leader they elected in 2019 will be able to win them an 80-seat majority in Parliament.

Party leaders have a history of being ousted once they become liabilities. Johnson could still face a no confidence vote from his side if Gray or the police produce more damning evidence. A party rule states that a vote can be triggered if at least 15% of the party's lawmakers (currently 54) request one.

Some Tories believed that Johnson, despite his promises to change, had shown a lack of repentance and failed to understand the anger felt by many voters over the "partygate” revelations.

William Hague, former Conservative leader, stated that Johnson had done "the minimum" in response to the report and not (going) further with his apology or his suggestions.

Hague stated in The Times of London that "Instead of reinforcing momentum in his favor, he quite possibly stopped it." "If I was him, I would be extremely worried about the number his MPs asking unhelpful questions at his conclusion of his statement."

One Conservative lawmaker spoke out in the House of Commons Monday. He said he complied with lockdown rules at the funeral of his grandmother. Johnson and his staff were accused of not understanding the rules.

Andrew Mitchell, a former Cabinet minister, withdrew support for Johnson on Monday. He said that the crisis was corroding his party like "battery acids."

He told BBC that he believes this crisis isn't going away and is doing a lot of damage to the party.

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