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#PartyGate: No 10's 'Wine-Time Fridays' Prompt Memeflood Online

© AFP 2022 / TOLGA AKMENBritain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson drinks from a wine glass during the Lord Mayor's Banquet in central London on November 15, 2021
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson drinks from a wine glass during the Lord Mayor's Banquet in central London on November 15, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.01.2022
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his office are currently in hot water over a slew of political scandals, but the so-called "partygate" is maybe the most resonant right now, with claims about Downing Street enjoying parties with booze amid lockdown restrictions fuelling public outrage for several weeks.
As if there were not enough allegations about parties on Downing Street during coronavirus restrictions, more details surfaced on Friday, with The Mirror reporting that No 10 staffers held so-called "Wine-Time Fridays" even in the middle of lockdowns, and even invested in a wine fridge to keep their booze cold.
According to the outlet's sources, Boris Johnson himself encouraged aides to "let off steam" when every other busy week in Downing Street would reach its end. This was the meaning of the "Wine-Time Fridays" tradition at No 10 before the pandemic as well, but the strict coronavirus restrictions prohibited such gatherings amid the pandemic.
Or did they?
Netizens took to Twitter to vent their outrage - apparently, therapeutic meme waves have become a popular way for the public to react to new "partygate" details.
Others were not in a joking mood. For example, user Susan Powell, who, according to her profile description, is a social care worker, found nothing funny about the wine fridge allegations.
"Wine time Fridays??? We had A/L cancelled till further notice, shifts lasting anything from 12 to 18 hours, or even more!!", she lashed out on her account. "PPE at all times, no visitors, couldn't even have a cuppa together! Absolute f**king bastards all of them!!!!"
Sonia Sodha, a columnist for The Guardian, recalled how Boris Johnson was "furious" at government officials for joking about the parties.
The clouds of the "partygate" scandal have been gathering above Downing Street since the beginning of January, with ever-more allegations emerging, drawing more and more calls for Boris Johnson to resign. While the prime minister hasn't rushed to do so, reports have since come out suggesting that he's devised a plan to fire some of his top staffers to remain in office over the "partygate" row.
Over the week, there were several apologies regarding the alleged lockdown parties, coming from Boris Johnson himself, Downing Street, and one former No 10 staffer whose departure was an occasion for one of the purported gatherings.
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