Britain’s Boris Johnson faces anger from lawmakers over partygate – Times of India

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LONDON: Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces British lawmakers on Tuesday for the first time since he was fined by police for attending a birthday party in his office that broke the coronavirus lockdown rules.
As the House of Commons returns from an 11-day Easter break, Johnson is expected to apologize for what he believes was a minor mistake – but the opposition is calling for his resignation over the restrictions he has placed on the country during the pandemic imposed, ignored.
Johnson and his allies argue it would be wrong to change leaders as Britain faces crises, including the war in Ukraine and pressure on the cost of living from rising energy and commodity prices.
Johnson and his Conservative government have faced mounting outrage since allegations surfaced late last year that he and his staff held office parties in 2020 and 2021, when millions across the country were banned from meeting friends and family — or even funerals of their loved ones. attended.
Johnson paid a £50 fine ($66) last week for attending his own surprise birthday party in Downing Street in June 2020. The fine made Johnson the first British Prime Minister to ever break the law while in office.
The fine followed a police investigation and an official investigation into the ‘party gate’ scandal. Johnson tried to fire questions away, first by saying there were no parties and then by insisting he believed no rules had been broken.
Opposition politicians accused Johnson of deceiving parliament, usually a right of dismissal.
Secretary of State Brandon Lewis insisted Johnson was not a liar and had always said “what he believes is the truth”.
“What he said to Parliament at the time, he believed to be true at the time,” Lewis said.
Johnson’s grip on power seemed on the edge earlier this year due to the scandal and the departures of several top executives. Allies feared that “party gate” could be a turning point for a leader who has weathered a series of other storms because of his spending and his moral judgment. Some conservative lawmakers openly called for a vote of no confidence in their leader.
But Johnson has persisted, in part because the Russian invasion of Ukraine distracted public and political attention.
Johnson’s international image, tarnished by Britain’s messy exit from the European Union under his leadership, has been revived by his strong military, political and moral support for Ukraine. Johnson traveled to Kiev earlier this month to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Johnson could face even more fines. London police are investigating a dozen events, including ‘bring your own booze’ office parties and ‘wine time Fridays’ hosted by Johnson staff. At least 50 tickets have been distributed so far, including those to Johnson, his wife Carrie and treasury chief Rishi Sunak.
If Johnson is sanctioned again, calls for a vote of no confidence among conservatives could increase. For now, conservative lawmaker Geoffrey Clifton-Brown said his colleagues “withheld their judgment and waited to see what happens”.
But fellow Conservative Tobias Ellwood, head of the House of Commons defense committee, said the government “shouldn’t use the fig leaf of our engagement with Ukraine to somehow say that now is not the time to tackle those difficult challenges.” to grab.”
He said the party would have to hold a no-confidence vote to determine whether “the prime minister has support and we are marching forward, or whether it is time for a change”.





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