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The fallout from Boris Johnson’s appointment of Chris Pincher to a government post, and Downing Street’s shifting account of the circumstances around the decision, dominated the recent political conversation in Britain.
But the drama around Mr. Pincher — who resigned as the Conservative Party’s deputy chief whip this month after admitting to having been drunk at a private members’ club in London where, it was alleged, he groped two men — was only the latest in a series of scandals surrounding Mr. Johnson in recent months.
Last year, criticism of potentially illegal gatherings at government offices during coronavirus lockdowns in 2020 and 2021, soon nicknamed “partygate,” grabbed headlines and led to speculation that Mr. Johnson and others in his inner circle might face punishment.
After an investigation, the police fined Mr. Johnson this spring for having broken lockdown rules at Downing Street, with members of his staff found to have held several boozy parties in violation of the pandemic regulations that his own government had introduced.
Mr. Johnson survived a confidence vote in June, but it left him reeling politically.
Also, last year, the prime minister staunchly defended a Conservative lawmaker, Owen Paterson, for violating lobbying rules, only to reverse course and later apologize. Under Mr. Johnson’s watch, the government had pushed for contentious plans to change the system that investigated Mr. Paterson, before Mr. Johnson retreated.
And in the spring of last year, questions were raised about Mr. Johnson’s costly refurbishment of his apartment at No. 10 Downing Street, which was initially partly financed by a Conservative Party donor who supplemented the public funding for the renovations.
The accusations prompted an investigation by Britain’s Electoral Commission, and the Conservative Party was eventually fined 17,800 pounds, or about $21,000, for failing to correctly report the donation.