Calls for Johnson's Resignation Grow Amid 'Partygate' Update

British PM will be fined by police for breaching COVID regulations during lockdown bashes
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 12, 2022 10:31 AM CDT
Cops to Fine Boris Johnson Over 'Partygate'
Rishi Sunak, Britain's Treasury chief, is seen leaving 11 Downing Street in London on March 23, 2022.   (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

(Newser) – UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office said Tuesday that he and Rishi Sunak, the nation's Treasury chief, will be fined by police for breaching COVID-19 regulations following allegations of lockdown parties at government offices while millions in Britain were barred from meeting with friends and family, per the AP. The news came after London's Metropolitan Police force said earlier Tuesday that they were issuing 30 more fixed penalty notices in relation to the "partygate" scandal, which has angered many in Britain and seen dozens of politicians and officials investigated over allegations that the government flouted its own restrictions. In total, police say they were issuing at least 50 fines for the breaches, but they didn't identify who the recipients are.

"The Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have today received notification that the Metropolitan Police intend to issue them with fixed penalty notices," a spokesperson for Johnson's office said. "We have no further details." The AP notes thousands of people have been fined between 60 pounds ($79) and 10,000 pounds ($13,200) by police for rule-breaking social gatherings, though it's not clear how much Johnson and Sunak were fined. Johnson has denied any wrongdoing, but he's alleged to have been at half of the dozen events that are being investigated by the police. Opponents, and some members of the governing Conservative Party, have said for months that Johnson should resign if he's issued a fine.

Wales Online now describes a "chorus of calls" for the PM's resignation. "Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have broken the law and repeatedly lied to the British public," said Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labour Party, per the AP. "The Conservatives are totally unfit to govern. Britain deserves better." Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats, called for Parliament to be recalled for a vote of no confidence in Johnson. The COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group said "there is simply no way" that Johnson or Sunak can remain in their jobs. "Their dishonesty has caused untold hurt to the bereaved," said the group's spokesman Lobby Akinnola. "Not only that, but they have lost all credibility with the wider public." (Read more Boris Johnson stories.)

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