ABBA

Abba’s Benny Andersson on Downing Street party row: ‘You can’t call it an Abba party, it is a Johnson party’

The band responded to reports that Abba’s “The Winner Takes It All” could be heard by Downing Street staff downstairs during one lockdown-flouting party

Abba’s Benny Andersson has responded to claims that the band’s music could be heard blaring out of Boris Johnson’s Downing Street flat during a lockdown-flouting party.

One of the 12 alleged Downing Street gatherings under police investigation is an alleged party on 13 November 2020, after the acrimonious departure of top aide Dominic Cummings following a power struggle.

It has been reported that Abba’s “The Winner Takes It All” could be heard by Downing Street staff downstairs, while last week Mr Cummings suggested there would be “witnesses who say ‘we could all hear a party with Abba playing’”.

Asked about the row, Andersson quipped to the PA news agency: “You can’t call it an Abba party. It is a Johnson party where they happened to play some Abba music. It is not an Abba party.”

He added: “You see how he wriggles himself out of this.”

Fellow Abba star Bjorn Ulvaeus reacted with surprise, saying: “I mean, wow. Did they only play Abba music? Are you kidding? Of course they played other music as well.”

The group – which also features singers Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad – announced their return in November with a new album and virtual stage show featuring “Abbatars” – both titled Voyage.

They are nominated at the Brit Awards for best international group, with the ceremony taking place on Tuesday evening at London’s O2 Arena.

They have now crowned their comeback with a nomination at the Brit Awards for best international group, with the ceremony taking place on Tuesday evening at London’s O2 Arena.

Ulvaeus said he had seen new footage of their virtual show, which will play from May 2022 at a purpose-built arena at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London, and described it as a “special experience”.

He said: “I saw some footage last week as well – not on the huge screens that there will be in the arena, but on a smaller screen – and I saw myself talking to an audience, looking like I did in ’79 with the voice that I have now.

“It is really a special experience.”

He quipped: “I don’t even remember that I was so good looking. Maybe they have done something about that. But I move very… I move like a tiger almost.”

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