Partygate: Majority of Britons say Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak should resign over Covid fines, poll finds

More than half of Tory voters, however, believe both men should stay, according to YouGov poll

Zoe Tidman
Wednesday 13 April 2022 09:07
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Boris Johnson is ‘incredibly embarrassed’ by fine, says minister

Most Britons believe Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak should resign after being handed fines for breaking Covid laws, according to a new poll.

YouGov found 57 per cent of respondents thought both the UK prime minister and his chancellor should quit after being handed a penalty as part of a police investigation into parties in Downing Street and Whitehall during Covid restrictions.

The Metropolitan Police said on Tuesday it would be handing out 30 more fines in connection with Operation Hillman, bringing the total number issued to more than 50.

On the same day, Mr Johnson, his wife Carrie Johnson and Mr Sunak were confirmed as having been contacted by police and told to expect a fine.

The move prompted calls for the prime minister and chancellor to resign, with the Labour leader saying they had both “repeatedly lied to the British public” as well as breaking the law.

According to a snap YouGov poll, more than half of the British public believe the pair should leave government too.

Thirty per cent said they thought MrJohnson should stay in his role, while 29 per cent said the same for Mr Sunak.

The poll found 13 per cent of respondents said they were not sure what the prime minister should do, compared to 14 per cent for the chancellor.

Out of the Tory voters who were polled, more than half thought the men should not resign. The vast majority of Labour-voting participants - more than 80 per cent - thought they should go over the Covid fines.

The prime minister, his wife and Mr Sunak all apologised on Tuesday as they confirmed they had paid police fines over a party held in June 2020 to mark Mr Johnson’s 56th birthday.

Speaking to broadcasters at Chequers, Mr Johnson said it “did not occur” to him the gathering might be breaching Covid rules and offered a “full apology”.

Scotland Yard, according to a statement published by No 10, said Mr Johnson had been fined due to taking part of “a gathering of two or more people indoors”, which was banned at the time.

Also on Tuesday, Rishi Sunak - also fined over the same event - said: “I deeply regret the frustration and anger caused and I am sorry.”

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