UK’s Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak reject calls to resign after being fined for partying during lockdown
UK’s prime minister, Boris Johnson and chancellor, Rishi Sunak have rejected calls from opposition parties to leave Downing Street
This comes after the prime minister, the chancellor and the PM’s wife all received fines on Tuesday, April 12 for attending a birthday gathering for Boris Johnson in No 10 in June 2020.
As a result, Johnson became the UK’s first serving prime minister to be sanctioned for breaking the law.
All three apologised, but after opposition parties called on the Prime Minister and Chancelor to resign, Johnson and Sunak rejected the calls.
Johnson said he felt “an even greater sense of obligation to deliver on the priorities of the British people”, while the chancellor said he was “focused on delivering for the British people”.
Speaking on Tuesday April 12, the PM said he accepted “in all sincerity that people had the right to expect better” from him.
He claimed the event he was fined for attending – a gathering in the Cabinet Room to mark his birthday – was “brief” and lasted “less than 10 minutes”.
He added: “In all frankness, at that time it did not occur to me that this might have been a breach of the rules.
“But, of course, the police have found otherwise and I fully respect the outcome of their investigation.”
Sunak later released a statement, saying: “I understand that for figures in public office, the rules must be applied stringently in order to maintain public confidence.
“I respect the decision that has been made and have paid the fine.”
But the “full” and “unreserved” apologies from the PM and chancellor did not silence their critics.
The fines come as part of an investigation by the Metropolitan Police into illegal parties held in Downing Street and across Whitehall during Covid lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.
The police is looking into 12 parties overall, and has already issued more than 50 fines, with more expected to come.
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