Jan 24, 2022 14:13 UTC
  • UK's Johnson faces make-or-break week with 'Partygate' scandal report due

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces a make-or-break week for his premiership as lawmakers await the findings of a probe into 10 Downing Street parties held during COVID-19 restrictions in the country.

Sue Gray, a senior British civil servant who is currently second permanent secretary in the cabinet office, leads the investigation and is expected to report her findings later this week.

As part of the investigation, Gray will on Monday interview Johnson's former top aide, Dominic Cummings, who revealed earlier last week that the PM knew the party held in his garden would break pandemic lockdown rules.

Cummings said he would “swear under oath” that Johnson was told about the controversy-marred bash.

The UK premier, however, has rejected the allegations, claiming that “nobody told me that what we were doing was against the rules, that the event in question was something that was not a work event.”

Johnson has given a flurry of excuses and explanations about the party at different points. Firstly he rejected the fact that rules had been broken but then apologized to the British people for the apparent hypocrisy of such gatherings, when the nation was mourning those killed by the pandemic.

Several prominent lawmakers from both Conservative and Labour parties have called on the prime minister to resign over the scandal, which has snowballed into a major crisis for his government.

Former ministers, Caroline Nokes and David Davis, and dozens of others have already submitted no-confidence letters to the chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady.

However, a total of 54 out of 359 conservative lawmakers are required to submit the same letter if a no-confidence vote is to be triggered against Johnson.

According to The Telegraph, a group of police officers guarding Johnson’s office at the time of lockdown-breaching parties have also been interviewed by Gray for the probe, and they have given “extremely damning” evidence.