Partigate: Why Boris Johnson’s Mysterious Red Bag Could Save Him

Can the mysterious red bag save Boris Johnson? This is what some of his party members are suggesting.

The British Prime Minister is currently at the center of the Partigate, the party scandal of 10 Downing Street in full confinement. Latest episode: Pictures of a party allegedly attended by Boris Johnson on November 13, 2020, when the UK was undergoing a second lockdown and indoor parties were banned. The photos show Boris Johnson, a smile on his face as he raises his glass. In front of him are snacks and drinks placed on the table. And on a chair, right next to him, is the famous red bag from which he never parted.

But what does this little red bag really contain, and above all, how can it save the skin of Boris Johnson? This red bag, known to the British, who called it the “Red Box”, accompanies Boris Johnson wherever he is: on the go in the UK and abroad, at home in the evening or at work. The system was created in 1860. Documents to sign or read, daily notes, etc. : The red bag contains documents addressed to the British Prime Minister, renewed every day. Only the most important papers are inside the bag, written in monograms in the form of a effigy of the reigning king. The Queen and other ministers also have one. Like his predecessors, Boris Johnson is always with him.

For some members of Boris Johnson’s party, the fact that the red bag appeared in photos of the party at 10 Downing Street is a very good sign. In fact, they claim this proves that he was unaware of the evening and that he joined the staff on his way home. They were going to give him a drink and he was going to put the “red box” to toast.

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“I think he stopped to raise his glass and say thank you to one of the old employees who’s leaving,” said Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps. He also said the prime minister had been “humiliated”.

What may be a vindication of Boris Johnson in the eyes of some Britons…but the Prime Minister was preparing an apology, having already assured Parliament that he did not intend to insist on closing parties.

Problematic WhatsApp messages

This isn’t the first time the bag has found itself at the center of controversy. At the end of March, court documents confirmed that Boris Johnson was receiving information about important government business via Whatsapp. These calls, which came from the “red box”, were sent to his phone for reasons of “administrative ease”.

For the Good Law Project and Foxglove, two legal groups that struggle, this practice poses a security risk. The latter opposed the use of the courier service, claiming that it violated the Act on the Preservation of Public Documents.

However, the judges decided that using Whatsapp is not against the law. Meanwhile, the government has called the lawsuit an “unnecessarily waste of taxpayer time and money.”

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