Published:  01:58 AM, 15 January 2022

Ex-Johnson aide says sorry for party on eve of royal funeral

Ex-Johnson aide says sorry for party on eve of royal funeral Britain's Queen Elizabeth II sits alone in St. George's Chapel during the funeral of Prince Philip, the man who had been by her side for 73 years, at Windsor Castle, Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. -AP

Boris Johnson's former communications chief apologized "unreservedly" on Friday for a lockdown-breaching party in Downing Street last year - the latest in a string of rule-breaking social events that are threatening to topple the British prime minister.James Slack said his April 2021 job-leaving party "should not have happened at the time that it did." "I wish to apologize unreservedly for the anger and hurt caused," Slack said in a statement.

"I am deeply sorry, and take full responsibility," added Slack, who left the government last year and is now deputy editor-in-chief of tabloid newspaper The Sun. Johnson is not alleged to have attended the leaving party, disclosed by the Daily Telegraph newspaper. Earlier this week he apologized for going to another gathering in the garden of Downing Street, his office and home, in May 2020, when the U.K. was under strict lockdown.

The latest party has appalled many in Britain because of the symbolism of its timing - April 16, 2021, the night before the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II's husband, Prince Philip. The Daily Telegraph said Downing Street staff drank, danced and socialized at leaving parties for Slack and another staff member on April 16 last year.

The next day, the widowed queen sat alone in the church during her husband's funeral service in order to adhere to social distancing rules that barred indoor mixing. Photos of the monarch, clad in black and wearing a face mask, became a powerful image of the isolation and sacrifice endured by many during the pandemic.

Members of Johnson's Conservative government have expressed support for Johnson following his admission on Wednesday that he attended a "bring your own booze" staff party in the garden of his Downing Street office in May 2020. At the time people in Britain were banned by law from meeting more than one person outside their households as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Latest News

More From World

Go to Home Page »

Site Index The Asian Age