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Boris Johnson Accused of Breaking Lockdown With Garden Party

LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced a wave of public and political outrage on Tuesday over allegations that he and his staff flouted coronavirus lockdown rules by holding a garden party in 2020 while Britons were barred by law from meeting up with more than one person outside their households.

Opposition politicians called for a police investigation after broadcaster ITV published a leaked email invitation to “socially distanced drinks” in the garden of the prime minister’s Downing Street office and residence. The email from the prime minister’s private secretary, Martin Reynolds, was sent to dozens of people and urged attendees to “bring your own booze.”

The event was scheduled for May 20, 2020 — the same day the government held a televised news conference to remind people that group gatherings were banned indoors and out. London’s Metropolitan Police force also published a reminder that day.

The police force said Tuesday it was “in contact with” the government over the party claims, which follow allegations of several other rule-breaking gatherings in Downing Street during the pandemic. A senior civil servant who was looking into those accusations will also investigate the latest ones.

Johnson has insisted he personally broke no rules, but British media reported Tuesday that the prime minister and his wife, Carrie Johnson, attended the garden gathering.