British Prime Minister Boris Johnson offers full apology after Partygate fine

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson offers 'full apology' to Partygate fine

Boris Johnson said the event lasted about 10 minutes.

London, United Kingdom:

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday offered a “full apology” after he was fined for breaking Covid-19 lockdown laws in the so-called “Partygate” scandal, but seemed intent on destroying calls for his dismissal.

The finance minister Rishi Sunak and Johnson’s wife Carrie will also be fined as the political storm following revelations of a piece of lockdown-busting parties in and around Downing Street threatens to suck Johnson again.

“Let me immediately say that I have paid the fine and I once again offer a full apology,” Johnson said during television comments.

Johnson’s office said his fine was for attending a surprise birthday party in his honor on the afternoon of June 19, 2020 in the Cabinet Chamber at No. 10.

The Prime Minister said the incident lasted about 10 minutes, and denied that he had lied about not being aware of the law, saying: “In all honesty at the time, it did not occur to me that this was a breach of the rules. could have been.

“But of course the police found otherwise and I fully respect the outcome of their investigation,” he added.

The leader of the opposition Labor Party, Keir Starmer, quickly called on the two most senior members of the government to take action.

“Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have broken the law and lied several times against the British public,” Starmer tweeted.

“They both have to give up. The Conservatives are completely incapable of governing. Britain deserves better.”

Johnson, however, said he now wanted to “go ahead and deliver the mandate I have”, and early signs were that his MPs were currently sticking with him.

A ‘government in crisis’

Johnson was left earlier this year to fight for his political survival after several lawmakers from his ruling Conservative Party withdrew their support for his leadership over the affair.

An unknown number of Conservative MPs have submitted letters calling for a vote of no confidence in Johnson’s leadership.

If the Conservative Party’s 1922 Committee receives such letters from 54 of Johnson’s 360 MPs, it would raise a vote of confidence.

Opposition Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey has called for a reshuffle of parliament on Friday.

“This is a government in crisis that is ignoring a country in crisis,” Davey tweeted.

But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had eased political pressure on Johnson, with lawmakers apparently reluctant to pull out a leadership amid an international crisis.

Conservative MP Roger Gale, one of those who previously called Johnson’s head, said on Tuesday that now was not the time to “oust” the prime minister, as this would support President Vladimir Putin.

“It’s serious of course,” Gale said.

“But … I am not ready to give Vladimir Putin the consolation of thinking that we are about to overthrow the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and destabilize the coalition against Putin.

“So any response to this will have to wait until we have dealt with the main crisis, which is Ukraine and the Donbas,” he said, referring to the eastern Ukrainian region where Moscow is now concentrating its attack.

Johnson ‘broke the law’

The London Metropolitan Police had earlier announced that they had imposed more than 50 fines on the parties, without disclosing the number or identities of the fines.

Bereaved families of victims of the Covid pandemic also called on Johnson to resign.

Lobby Akinnola, Families for Covid-19 Bereaved for Justice, said Johnson and Sunak “broke the law” and “see us all for mugs.

“There is simply no way either the prime minister or the chancellor can continue … Their dishonesty has caused untold harm to the descendants,” he said.

“They have lost all credibility with the wider audience, which could cost lives if new variants meant restrictions were needed in the future.”

London police are still investigating claims that Johnson and government officials in 2020 and 2021 organized and attended at least a dozen boozy events that destroyed Britain’s then-severe virus trees.

Johnson has already apologized for the festivities, which included Christmas parties and a drink gathering the night before Prince Philip’s funeral.

The Prime Minister initially denied that any irregularities had taken place in the complex where he lives and works, and he consistently rejected any suggestion of personal wrongdoing.

But his opponents accused him of abusing Parliament by insisting that the Downing Street events were work-related and within the rules.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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