Calls for Resignation Echo as Boris Johnson Apologizes for Pandemic Christmas Party
“I believed it was a work event” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he apologized in the House of Commons on Wednesday, making it the very first time acknowledging that he attended the No 10 Downing Street Christmas party during the 2020 lockdown.
The UK Prime Minister offered his heartfelt apologies, saying there are things his government ‘just did not get right’.
“I offer my heartfelt apologies”
Boris Johnson admits he attended an event in the Downing Street garden in May 2020 while the country was in lockdown, telling MPs he is sorry but suggesting he did not break the ruleshttps://t.co/bgY5jaugnG #PMQs pic.twitter.com/HoDHUmsuIY
— Bloomberg UK (@BloombergUK) January 12, 2022
However, Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran pointed out that the Prime Minister still did not admit he broke any rules, adding that ‘he has to go’.
Boris Johnson's apology rang hollow. He has become a liability to the response to the pandemic.
He has to go. pic.twitter.com/dkN1dtasv7
— Layla Moran 🔶 (@LaylaMoran) January 12, 2022
Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Edward Davey MP, called it a shameful event and asked, ‘why the only person to resign so far for the scandal was Allegra Stratton (a woman)?’
— Ed Davey (@EdwardJDavey) January 12, 2022
Angry Brits converted the apology into a meme fest on social media. A Twitter user jokingly accused him of mistaking ‘a drinks menu for a spreadsheet’.
I think parties and work events CAN be very similar. For instance, I confused a drinks menu for a spreadsheet once. And also a seventh mojito for a pen.
— Michael Spicer (@MrMichaelSpicer) January 12, 2022
Some critical voices analyse the current media coverage of the Prime Minister, claiming it to be a witch hunt to bring him down.
‘It’s coordinated by someone or some group of people who are trying to bring the Prime Minister down’
Lord Daniel Moylan on the ‘witch hunt’ against Boris Johnson.
📺 Freeview 236, Sky 515, Virgin 626. pic.twitter.com/Ps0QaP4WQE
— GB News (@GBNEWS) January 14, 2022
Shocking Details Revealed as Burnley Striker Chris Wood Moves to Newcastle United
With an endless pot of money at their disposal, the football world has become the oyster for Newcastle United and they are being linked to almost every player in Europe. The recent surprise (or shock!) is Burnley Striker Chris Woods.
We've got Wood. 💪
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) January 13, 2022
Eddie Howe, Newcastle United Manager, called it an ‘important’ new signing and said he believes the ‘physicality and character’ of Chris Wood will make him a key part of the Premier League next season.
🗣 Eddie Howe on the signing of Chris Wood:
"Chris is an important signing for us at a crucial time. He is a very dangerous attacking threat, has a physicality and character that I really like, and he has vast experience in the Premier League. He will be a great fit for us." pic.twitter.com/eejW4wHqy1
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) January 13, 2022
Chris Wood joined the Magpies in a stunning £20 million deal in this year’s January transfer window, triggering the release clause in his contract. Pete Graves, Presenter for Sky Sports, tweeted the confirmation that Burnley did not want to sell!
Breaking: Chris Wood to #nufc DONE! 2.5 year deal (+ option), will make his debut v Watford on Saturday wearing number 20. Burnley didn't want to sell but release clause WAS triggered. Signing number 2 for the new owners. Over 35m spent in first 13 days of Jan window. 👀
— Pete Graves (@PeteGravesTV) January 13, 2022
While initially, it seems difficult to understand the reason behind the signing, many feel Newcastle aims to weaken Burnley by making them lose one of their most prolific forwards. A Twitter user’s viral tweet echoes this sentiment.
Newcastle's owners woke up, fed the pet tiger, sat down for breakfast and thought "I hope Burnley get relegated" https://t.co/BbZ5UKJE0d
— Sean (@SeanDOlfc) January 11, 2022
Winners of Golden Globes 2022: Michaela Jaé Makes History at a Celebrity-Boycotted Ceremony
In a ‘downsized’ ceremony this year, the Golden Globe winners were announced without guests, telecast, or hosts. The lack of diversity and transparency in the voting membership triggered a celebrity boycott of the event, a disgrace in the public eye, and the cancellation of its TV coverage.
This year's event is going to be a private event and will not be live-streamed.
We will be providing real-time updates on winners on the Golden Globes website and our social media.https://t.co/UftlFSZg5u
— Golden Globe Awards (@goldenglobes) January 6, 2022
Michaela Jaé Rodriguez became the first transgender actress to win a Golden Globe. She was awarded best actress in a TV drama for her role on FX’s Pose. Michaela tweeted that she’s still ‘on cloud 9’.
Hey I just want to say, I’m still on cloud 9. I will say this though. To the people who don’t see me as female or worthy of this award, I don’t care. I will still move how I always have and that’s through LOVE. The creator themselves put me here, and for that I will continue. 🙏🏽
— Michaela Jaé (Mj) (@MjRodriguez7) January 10, 2022
Among other big winners were
Benedict Cumberbatch starring in ‘The Power of the Dog’ for best picture for a drama and best director
Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’ for best picture comedy and musical
Nicole Kidman is the best actress in a motion picture for her role in ‘Being the Ricardos’.
Andrew Garfield as best actor in a musical and comedy motion picture for ‘Tick, Tick…Boom!’
Congratulations to all of those nominated and all the 79th #GoldenGlobe winners! 👏
— Golden Globe Awards (@goldenglobes) January 10, 2022
In an effort to ‘improve’ and ‘promote a uniform approach toward diversity, equality, inclusion, and accessibility, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association group behind the Golden Globes, has partnered with the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People.
This partnership has been announced as the Reimagine Coalition.
We’re taking new steps to improve by partnering with four extraordinary organizations that are committed to promoting a uniform approach toward diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility within the entertainment industry. This is the Reimagine Coalition. #hfpa #GoldenGlobes pic.twitter.com/Sx5Hygupll
— Golden Globe Awards (@goldenglobes) January 11, 2022
Royal Good & Bad News: Kate Middleton Turns 40 & The Queen Launches a Baking Contest for her Platinum Jubilee – Prince Andrew loses Military Titles
Kensington Palace released three new portraits of the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton a night before she celebrated her 40th birthday.
Exuding ethereal glamour, she looked stunning in Alexander McQueen and jewellery from the collections of both Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana.
These new portraits which have been released to mark the 40th will be shown in the community in three meaningful places: Berkshire, St Andrews, and Anglesey, as part of the @NPGLondon nationwide ‘Coming Home’ exhibition, ahead of the Gallery reopening in 2023.
📸 Paolo Roversi pic.twitter.com/l0sEerPfhH
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) January 9, 2022
The smiling mother of three was hailed as being ‘in her prime’, ‘confident’, ‘funny’ and most of all ‘Britain’s reliable royal’.
Among many wishes that stood out on social media, 23-year-old artist Nathan Wyburn’s portrait of Kate Middleton made with bread slices and a pot of Marmite Gold looked incredible.
A TOAST (@marmite) to a princess. 🍞
— Nathan Wyburn Artist (@NathanWyburnArt) January 9, 2022
On another exciting note, The Queen has announced a nationwide competition in search of the perfect pudding recipe ahead of her platinum jubilee. The winning recipe will be made public as well as a part of the celebration of her 70-year long reign and shall be ‘enjoyed by generations to come.
The five finalists will prepare their platinum puddings for an expert judge panel that includes the Buckingham Palace Head Chef, who has also shared tips for aspiring entrants.
🍰 To mark The Queen’s #PlatinumJubilee, a nationwide competition has been launched to discover the perfect Platinum Pudding recipe, to be enjoyed at Big Jubilee Lunches and by generations to come.
Co-judge and Buckingham Palace Head Chef, Mark Flanagan shares his top tips: pic.twitter.com/2ISlrWxfMp
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) January 10, 2022
The ’Platinum Pudding’ is set to follow the classic Victoria sponge and Battenberg cake, since the Queen has never had a dish named after her. The competition closes on February 4, 2022.
🍰 Everyone loves a Victoria Sponge but Her Majesty The Queen has never had a dish named after her.
This is all about to change with the #PlatinumPudding competition!
Get involved now at https://t.co/oLXqJpeMao
— DCMS (@DCMS) January 10, 2022
The good royal news was overshadowed by the removal of the Duke of York Prince Andrew’s military affiliations and royal patronages by his mother, Queen Elizabeth, as announced by Buckingham Palace.
A statement from Buckingham Palace regarding The Duke of York: pic.twitter.com/OCeSqzCP38
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) January 13, 2022
This decision comes after Prince Andrew was unsuccessful with his bid to get the responsible US judge to dismiss his civil case filed by the main witness Virginia Giuffre. He now must defend himself as a private citizen.
Prince Andrew fails in his bid to get US judge to dismiss civil case which alleges he sexually assaulted Virginia Giuffrehttps://t.co/vOpN83YS0c
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) January 12, 2022
Virginia Giuffre responded with a tweet that she will continue to seek justice as a victim of sexual harassment organized by millionaire investment banker Jeff Epstein, who ran a sex trafficking ring with underaged women.
I’m pleased with Judge Kaplan’s ruling yesterday that allows my case against Prince Andrew to go forward. I’m glad I will have the chance to continue to expose the truth & I am deeply grateful to my extraordinary legal team. 1/3
— Virginia Giuffre (@VRSVirginia) January 14, 2022
Some Twitter memes went viral hinting at the privileged few in the news this week.
One for your next secret garden party…
Boris x Usher – There 🍷🥴
— Munya Chawawa (@munyachawawa) January 13, 2022
UK Covid Update – End of Free Lateral Flow Tests, Britain could emerge from the Pandemic soon and more public criticism of Covid Vaccine Mandates
Britain could soon become the first country to emerge from the Covid19 pandemic due to high vaccination and infection rates, said leading scientist Professor David Heymann who helped defeat the 1970s Ebola outbreak in Africa.
His welcome assessment is good news for Brits as well as the heavily criticized UK government. It means that the UK is now living with Covid and effectively coping with the virus.
“The UK is the closest to any country of being out of the pandemic.”
David Heymann on the UK’s high immunity and what it will take for the pandemic to be declared over across the globe, in @EveningStandard.
— London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (@LSHTM) January 12, 2022
Meanwhile, under plans for living with Covid, the lateral flow tests (LFTs) will not continue to be free for everyone. Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to announce this controversial move within weeks.
🔺 EXCLUSIVE: Free lateral flow tests face the axe under plans for living with Covid which Boris Johnson will announce within weeks https://t.co/8aWjrAgT1l
— Times Politics (@timespolitics) January 8, 2022
Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, denounced the plan as ‘utterly wrongheaded’.
If UK government is really considering this (@scotgov certainly not signed up to it) it is utterly wrongheaded. Hard to imagine much that would be less helpful to trying to ‘live with’ Covid. https://t.co/CR72sm5bUI
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) January 8, 2022
The UK government expects 6 more years of the virus and ending free LFTs could save billions. However, many criticize this idea as ‘dangerously stupid’ and are calling for the tests to be kept free.
Keep lateral flow tests free! https://t.co/VzKEEIqels
— Andy Burnham (@AndyBurnhamGM) January 8, 2022
In other Covid related news, this week NHS Dr Steve James went viral on YouTube and social media for openly confronting Health Secretary Sajid Javid asking hospital staff what they think about the Covid vaccine mandate for all health care workers coming into effect in April 2022.
"The science isn't strong enough".
Watch the moment an unvaccinated hospital consultant challenges Health Secretary Sajid Javid over the government's policy of compulsory COVID jabs for NHS staff.https://t.co/IvbdwQbF0N
📺 Sky 501, Virgin 602, Freeview 233 and YouTube pic.twitter.com/tDkRYgWgDh
— Sky News (@SkyNews) January 7, 2022
The doctor claims that the science is not strong enough to make a Covid vaccine compulsory and explains his views and reasons in more detail in this video:
Some of his colleagues took to the streets of London on Saturday the 22nd of January 2022 to protest against the NHS Covid 19 vaccine mandate, which comes into effect on the 1st of April according to the UK government.
The London Business News Blog & the UK News blog team was there live:
It was organised by NHS100K and the turnout was estimated at several thousands of participants in London alone, while protests also happened in other UK cities.
— @NHS100K 💜 (@NHS100K) January 22, 2022
Well, another tumultuous week lies behind us and we’re only getting started with 2022!
Post curated by Nidaa Koreishi & Manuela Willbold