U.K. Investigating Another of Boris Johnson’s Parties During Lockdown

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “U.K. Investigating Another of Boris Johnson’s Parties During Lockdown” – below is their description.

Boris Johnson has written more than a half-dozen books, including one comparing ancient Rome with the European Union that he famously stiffed and another about Winston Churchill, the sine qua non of U.K. leaders. But the project the British prime minister now has on his desk—a biography of William Shakespeare—offers a better fit for his current situation.

Whether the vaulting ambition of Macbeth, the roguish charisma of Falstaff, or the soaring oratory of Mark Antony, Shakespeare’s flawed characters provide plenty of parallels to Johnson. Indeed, his rise and impending fall have elements of tragicomedy worthy of the Bard himself.

The 57-year-old premier has gone from the seemingly unassailable commander of Brexit Britain to an increasingly isolated figure at the mercy of the very people who helped catapult him into power less than three years ago. With a constant drip of poison being fed to the public by Dominic Cummings, his Iago-esque former top adviser, and cloak-and-dagger plotting within his Conservative Party, Johnson is mired in a crisis that increasingly looks like it will be the denouement of his leadership.

A pair of investigations—one by the police and another by the civil service—into rule-breaking lockdown parties will set the backdrop for the final act. Johnson told Parliament he believed an illegal gathering taking place at his No. 10 Downing St. residence at the height of the pandemic in May 2020 was a “work event.” Misleading the House of Commons is a resigning matter, and the optics couldn’t be worse. The U.K. death toll from Covid-19 is one of the gravest in the world, and there’s an inquiry into that, too.

The embattled Johnson was holed up at Chequers, the prime minister’s country retreat, during the weekend of Jan. 22-23. He worked the phones to shore up support, while his party’s whips—his enforcers in the House of Commons—sought to pressure potential rebels to fall back in line. Some Conservative Members of Parliament (the exact number is Britain’s greatest secret right now) have called for a change at the top. Fifty-four will trigger a leadership challenge.

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