LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his finance czar Rishi Sunak issued a ‘full apology’ on Tuesday after being fined for breaking Covid-19 lockdown laws in the ‘Partygate’ scandal , but defied calls for their resignation.
Johnson’s wife Carrie was also fined as the political storm following revelations of a series of anti-lockdown parties in and around Downing Street threatened to engulf Johnson once again.
“Let me say immediately that I have paid the fine and I again offer a full apology,” Johnson said in a televised address.
Johnson’s office said his fine was for attending a surprise birthday party in his honor on the afternoon of June 19, 2020 at Number 10.
The Prime Minister said the event lasted around 10 minutes and denied lying about not knowingly breaking the law, saying: ‘In all honesty at the time, it’s not for me occurred to me that this might have been a violation of the rules.
“But of course the police found the opposite and I fully respect the outcome of their investigation,” he added.
Opposition Labor Party leader Keir Starmer quickly called for the resignation of the two most senior government officials.
“Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak repeatedly broke the law and lied to the British public,” Starmer tweeted.
“They both need to step down. The Tories are utterly unfit to govern. Britain deserves better.
However, Johnson said he now wants to “commit and fulfill the mandate that I have”, and early signs were that his MPs are currently staying with him.
Johnson fought for his political survival earlier this year after several lawmakers from his ruling Conservative Party withdrew support for his leadership on the case.
An unknown number of Tory MPs have submitted letters calling for a vote of no confidence in his leadership.
Posted in Dawn, April 13, 2022