British Prime Minister, Boris Johnsonand its finance minister, Rishi Sunak, will be fined as part of the police investigation into parties held during the lockdowns against covid-19reported Tuesday a spokeswoman for Downing Street.
“The Prime Minister and the Finance Minister have received notification today (Tuesday) that the Metropolitan Police intend to fine them,” the spokeswoman said, assuring no further details.
The London police had announced hours before having sent more than 50 notifications of fines in the framework of their investigation into these infractions.
The leader of the opposition, Labor Keir Starmer, immediately called for the resignation of number one and number two of the Conservative executive.
“Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak broke the law and repeatedly lied to British citizens. Both must resign. The Conservatives are totally incapable of governing,” tweeted Labor Keir Starmer, saying “the UK deserves better.”
Scotland Yard has been investigating allegations for months that Johnson and members of his team organized and attended a dozen parties and other social events when they were prohibited during the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 against the Covid-19.
The investigation (…) continues to progress,” the police said in a statement. “As of Tuesday, April 12, 2022, we have sent more than 50 notifications of fines (…) for violation of the regulations on Covid-19 “, he added.
The police had already announced in March a first series of some 20 fines, without revealing the identity of those sanctioned.
Relive the “partygate”
This announcement revived the so-called “partygate” scandal, which made Johnson fear for his political survival amid calls for his resignation by the opposition and several deputies from his own Conservative Party willing to launch a motion of internal censure.
After the first series of fines, in which the prime minister was not included, Downing Street undertook to report if the head of government was sanctioned.
Johnson apologized for the parties, which include everything from Christmas celebrations to the mass dismissal of an employee on the eve of the funeral of Prince Philip, the queen’s husband. Isabel IIwhose funeral could only be attended by 30 socially distanced people due to restrictions.
The 57-year-old Prime Minister, who initially denied that there were any parties in the Downing Street venues where he lives and works and later defended that he had been assured that “all the rules were respected”, has consistently claimed not to have personally committed any offence.
However, images were leaked to the press showing him attending some of these social gatherings when his government had banned them from the British to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Since then, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has shifted the focus of media attention and public opinion, relieving political pressure on Johnson.