By Michael Holden and Elizabeth Piper

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will have to fight Wednesday to defend his post as Prime Minister after it was revealed that a ‘bring your own alcohol’ rally was held at his official residence during the first coronavirus lockdown.

Opposition lawmakers have called for Johnson’s resignation and some members of his own Tory Party have said he should step down if he is found to have broken the strict laws his government has put in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

Johnson, who came to power in 2019 on a promise to secure Britain’s exit from the European Union, has so far declined to say whether he attended the rally in Downing Street on May 20, 2020 .

“His survival is at stake for now,” said a senior Conservative lawmaker, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.

Political cartoons about world leaders

“He needs to clean his chest. I usually find that if you apologize it defuses the problem. I can’t let him hang on,” the lawmaker said.

The Prime Minister and his partner Carrie mingled with around 40 staff in the Downing Street Garden after his senior private secretary, Martin Reynolds, sent out an email invitation using the pronoun ‘we’, ITV reported News.

Johnson’s spokesperson has repeatedly declined to comment on the details of the report.

When Johnson takes questions in parliament on Wednesday at 12 p.m. GMT, there is only one question lawmakers will want answered: Was he at the aperitif or not?

Newspapers, including those generally very sympathetic to Johnson, have warned that unless he fixes the issue, his position could become untenable.

On the front page, the Daily Mail asked the question many commentators have been asking after the recent scandal: “Is the party over for the Prime Minister?”

(Edited by Guy Faulconbridge and Catherine Evans)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.