British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has come under fire recently due to seemingly violating the Covid-19 restrictions imposed on the rest of the country. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues across the globe, world leaders continue to grapple with finding a balance between the public desire to return to a pre-pandemic world and the governments responsibility to public health and safety.
The Omicron variant has set back progress made by some countries and has made compliance with regulations more challenging. However, as vaccinations rates climb, some restrictions have eased in varying degrees worldwide. For example, in the UK, regulations can include self-isolation for ten days after a positive Covid-19 test, face masks in certain public places, and businesses can ask for proof of vaccinations.
While current UK regulations may seem fair for the time, previous mandates included limiting people from gathering and seeing their families. These limitations have led to increased depression and unease in many individuals. Although these mandates have been necessary at the peak of infections, it was still difficult for everyone. News has now reached the public that while the most imposing restrictions were in place, Prime Minister Johnson was apparently having gatherings and parties with members of his political circle.
As a result of this unfolding scandal, the Green Party of England and Wales called on Johnson to resign. As stated by co-leader Carla Denyer,
“Politicians like Boris Johnson undermine trust in the government, in public health advice and ultimately in our democracy. The unedifying spectacle in Westminster today makes it seem as if this is all one big joke, but let us remember that more than 150,000 people in the UK have died from covid, and this sham of a government is distracting us from the real work at hand”.
The statement underlines the anger and mistrust felt by the party toward Johnson. It has been reported that allegedly twelve of his parties are currently under investigation by British police. This incident serves as a reminder about how the pandemic has impacted those at various socio-economic statuses more than others, in addition to emphasizing the growing cynicism toward the political elite.
The political fallout of this scandal remains to be seen for Johnson, though it is unlikely he will heed the Green’s call to resign. His popularity is low. These incidents will surely be something that the voting public will remember in future elections.