The “partygate” scandal, stemming from allegations that the Prime Minister’s office held a holiday get-together last year, while Britain was under a strict lockdown, has roiled the government.


LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -DECEMBER 1: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosts an event to light up the Christmas tree on Downing Street on December 1, 2021 in London, England. The Christmas tree, which is presented by the British Christmas Tree Growers Association, was grown by Marldon Christmas Tree Farm in Devon. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)






  • to stem from – to start or develop as the result of something
  • to roil – to stir up; to make sb annoyed
  • aide /eɪd/ – an assistant to an important person, especially a political leader
  • tailspin – if sth goes into a tailspin, it begins to perform very badly or to fail
  • to flank – to be at the side of someone
  • to condone – to accept or allow behaviour that is wrong
  • to collect oneself – to get a hold of yourself; to regain your composure 
  • to dissolve into (a grin) – to suddenly start to (grin)
  • do – a party or other social event
  • salacious – causing or showing too much interest in sexual matters
  • tinsel – the shiny silver strands hanging from the branches of a Christmas tree



Choose the best synonym a)-c) of the word in bold:


1. Boris Johnson, the U.K.’s Prime Minister, got a series of nasty surprises, all of them worse than a lump of coal.

a) nice

b) unpleasant

c) amazing


2. The response is excruciating.

a) lukewarm

b) exciting

c) awkward


3. She seems genuinely unsure of how to respond.

a) sincerely

b) faithfully

c) hypocritically


4. Would the Prime Minister condone having a Christmas party?

a) approve of

b) punish

c) remember


5. She looks stumped.

a) puzzling

b) certain

c) confused


6. On November 30th, the Daily Mirror published a story, by Pippa Crerar, claiming that Johnson’s administration had allowed a “festive bash” to go ahead on December 18th, 2020.

a) occasion

b) do

c) part


7. They were all getting totally plastered.

a) sloshed

b) drank

c) careless


8. When partying is a crime, every festive detail is salacious.

a) decent

b) curious

c) lewd


Key: : 1b; 2 c); 3a); 4a); 5c); 6b); 7a) 8c)


Practice Makes Perfect

Listen to or read the article  (A Holiday for Consumption?) and answer the questions below:


  • What’s wrong with wanting a new smart phone for Christmas?
  • Why is the landscape of eastern Congo described as “lunar”?
  • How has China replaced Santa’s elves?


  • How do you feel about X-mas?
  • Do you always decorate a Christmas tree? When do you do it?
  • Do you always know what presents to buy or does it make you feel stressed?
  • Have you ever received a present you detested?
  • What makes you most happy about this holiday season?



Merry Christmas Everyone!