Jacob Rees-Mogg Attacks Covid Curbs After Johnson’s Party Apology
One of Boris Johnson’s most senior cabinet ministers may have revealed how the U.K. prime minister could try to shift the narrative over his attendance at a drinks party during the first pandemic lockdown.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Thursday, Jacob Rees-Mogg said pandemic curbs in 2020 -- including strict limits on attendance at funerals -- may have been “too hard on people.”
“We must consider, as this goes to an inquiry, and we look into what happened with Covid, whether all those regulations were proportionate,” he said.
Johnson’s government is facing a major political storm after the premier told Parliament Wednesday he attended a garden party at his Downing Street office in May 2020, when such gatherings were banned under pandemic rules.
The revelation has compounded the ruling Conservative Party’s recent slump in the polls, with the main opposition Labour Party’s argument that there has been one rule for the British people in the pandemic and another for the government apparently cutting through with voters.
Whether Johnson survives will come down at least in part to his popularity and standing, and Labour MPs were quick to accuse Rees-Mogg of trying to distract from the “partygate” scandal by re-framing the debate around Covid curbs.
Labour MP Barbara Keeley said on Twitter she was “appalled” by comments she described as trying to “cover up” for Johnson.
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