The UK’s Labour Party has opened up its biggest lead against the Tories since 2013 amid criticism leveled at Prime Minister Boris Johnson over revelations of social gatherings at Downing Street during COVID-19 lockdowns, a new poll shows.
The poll conducted by Opinium gave Labour 41% of the vote share in comparison with 31% for the Conservatives. The online poll of 2,005 people was conducted between Jan. 12 and Jan. 14.
Allegations of more lockdown-breaking parties at Downing Street office are heightening public outrage in Britain, as new reports claim government staff held social events last year while Queen Elizabeth II mourned her husband.
The Daily Telegraph revealed on Friday that Downing Street staff hosted about 30 people in its basement and garden on April 16. The next day, Elizabeth bade farewell to Prince Philip, 99.
At the time, British people could only socialize outdoors, but in groups of up to six people, or two households of any size.
Later on Friday, Johnson’s office apologized to Elizabeth after the reports of the parties were disclosed.
“It is deeply regrettable this took place at a time of national mourning and No. 10 [Downing Street] has apologized to the Palace,” the prime minister’s spokesman told reporters.
According to another opinion poll released on Friday, the scandals have helped the Labour Party to pull into a 10 point lead over the Conservatives.
Pollster Savanta ComRes said its survey of 2,151 adults put Labour up 5 points to 42% of the vote whereas the Conservatives fell one point to 32%.
Johnson secured a landslide election victory in 2019, but according to the poll, 70% of respondents now want him to quit his job.
It also showed voters across the political spectrum were angry with the revelations, with just 66% of those who supported the Conservatives in the 2019 election giving their support to the party now.