UK PM Boris Johnson Makes New Appointments to His Team Amid 'Partygate' Scandal

© AP Photo / Alastair GrantBritain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street for the House of Commons for his weekly Prime Minister's Questions in London, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street for the House of Commons for his weekly Prime Minister's Questions in London, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.02.2022
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LONDON (Sputnik) - UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made new appointments amid widespread criticism for attending Downing Street parties during COVID-19 lockdowns, the British government has announced.
"The prime minister has today continued the overhaul of his senior team as he improves the No 10 operation and delivers the change necessary to get on with the job. The new appointments will have the discipline and focus to drive the prime minister's priorities and deliver for the country", Downing Street said in a Saturday statement.
According to the British government, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay is being appointed as the prime minister's new chief of staff, while Guto Harri, who had worked for the BBC, will become the new director of communications.

"The changes I'm announcing to my senior team today will improve how No 10 operates, strengthen the role of my Cabinet and backbench colleagues, and accelerate our defining mission to level up the country", Johnson said as quoted in the Saturday release.

The British prime minister has been grappling with calls to resign after a series of revelations showed that several social gatherings were held at his offices throughout 2020 and 2021, flouting COVID-19 social distancing rules.
On Monday, Johnson told the UK Parliament that he was going to "get on with the job" following the release of findings of an inquiry conducted by UK senior civil servant Sue Gray, who found that some of the parties at 10 Downing Street violated lockdown rules. A separate police investigation is ongoing.
Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Andrei Kelin told Sputnik on Friday that he does not expect Johnson to resign and that, according to British sources, the prime minister will overcome this current crisis.
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