Updates: 12.04.2022 15:53
LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Treasury Secretary Rishi Sunak will also be fined for hosting parties in Downing Street during the strict coronary closures in 2020 and 2021. According to the media, a government spokesman said today. The announcement came shortly after police announced that they would impose an additional 30 fines in connection with the investigation of parties that did not comply with the social restrictions in force at the time. At the end of March, she handed out the first 20 fines. Labor chief Keir Starmer has called on Johnson to resign immediately, with Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey demanding a House of Commons vote of no confidence in the government.
“The prime minister and finance minister have been notified today that the metropolitan police are planning to impose a block fine on them,” a spokesman for Downing Street said in a statement, adding that he had no further details at the moment. Johnson’s wife, Carrie, will also be fined, her spokeswoman said.
“Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have broken the law and repeatedly lied to the British public. Both must resign,” said Starmer, the opposition Labor chief, in response to the announcement. “Conservatives are completely incapable of governing. Britain deserves better,” he added.
The British police have been investigating 12 meetings in Downing Street and other parts of the Whitehall government district for weeks, which, according to the British media, took place at a time when the strict restrictions adopted in the fight against the coid-19 applied in Britain. Although the Prime Minister apologized several times in this connection, he refused to admit that he had committed an offense against the regulations in force.
Due to the Partygate affair, pressure on Johnson’s resignation grew at the beginning of the year, and many observers considered his position unsustainable in the long run. Some members of the Conservative Party also opposed Johnson in connection with the violation of the rules. However, the Prime Minister was “helped” by the war in Ukraine, which temporarily dampened protests from the opposition and from its own ranks.
However, the new announcement of fines could revive the affair, according to the media. In this regard, Sky News describes as surprising especially the fine for Sunak, which has so far managed to avoid the affair.
Johnson has indicated in the past that he does not intend to resign because of the whole thing. However, if Sunak, who has recently been under pressure due to controversy over his wife’s Akshata Murthy’s business, resigns after the new announcement, Johnson would be in an extremely politically vulnerable position, according to Sky News chief political correspondent Jon Craig.
At the end of January, high-ranking government official Sue Gray described the “failure” in the prime minister’s office in a preliminary report. She said in the document that anti-epidemic measures had been violated in top government circles. The government originally promised to make its entire report available to the public. However, the matter began to be investigated by the police at the same time, which made it impossible to publish much of the report, as it now concerns an active police investigation.
Police imposed the first 20 fines last month. According to Reuters, it basically confirmed that some members of the government and their employees committed offenses, which were blamed on them by the British media and a report from an independent investigation. However, the police did not specify who the fines concerned. She added that she was doing everything she could to make the investigation move forward quickly.
Source: České noviny – hlavní události by www.ceskenoviny.cz.
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