Keir Starmer calls on Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak to resign over No 10 partygate fines

‘Conservatives are totally unfit to govern,’ Labour leader says

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Tuesday 12 April 2022 14:52
Comments

Boris Johnson and the chancellor are facing calls to resign after being told they will be issued with fines as part of the Metropolitan Police probe into No 10 parties during Covid restrictions.

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, said the prime minister and the chancellor had broken the law and “repeatedly lied to the British public” over the scandal, as he insisted: “They must both resign”.

“The Conservatives are totally unfit to govern. Britain deserves better,” he added.

It comes after a No 10 spokesperson admitted the two most senior members of government had “received notification that the Metropolitan Police intend to issue them with fixed-penalty notices”.

“We have no further details, but we will update you again when we do,” they said.

The Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Ed Davey, however, said Parliament must be recalled for a no confidence vote in the Mr Johnson.

Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader and Scotland’s first minister, also called on Mr Johnson to resign, saying: “He broke the law and repeatedly lied to Parliament about it.

“The basic values of integrity and decency - essential to the proper working of any parliamentary democracy - demand that he go. And he should take his out of touch chancellor with him.”

Lobby Akinnola, a spokesperson for the Covid-19 bereaved families for justice, added: “There is simply no way either the prime minister or Chancellor can continue. Their dishonesty has caused untold hurt to the bereaved.

“Not only that, but they have lost all credibility with the wider public, which could cost lives if new variants mean restrictions are needed in the future. If they had any decency they would be gone by tonight."

But Sir Roger Gale, a Conservative MP who has previously called on Mr Johnson to resign over the scandal, said that while the fine was “serious”, now is not the time to “unseat” the prime miniser.

He said: “My position remains that the fact that the prime minister has effectively misled the House of Commons is a very serious issue indeed, but we are in the middle of an international crisis and I am not prepared to give Vladimir Putin the comfort of thinking that we are about to unseat the prime minister of the United Kingdom and destabilise the coalition against Putin.

"So any reaction to this is going to have to wait until we have dealt with the main crisis which is Ukraine and the Donbas."

Earlier on Tuesday, the force announced 30 additional fines in relation to Operation Hillman, which is investigating breaches of Covid-19 regulations in 12 separate events in government buildings.

Police have opted not to name those facing fines, citing traditional practices when dealing with out-of-court matters such as speeding fines, but Downing Street said it would confirm if Mr Johnson was among those being penalised.

Scotland Yard said on Tuesday that it had made at least 50 referrals for fixed-penalty notices (FPNs) - up from 20 at the end of March - to ACRO Criminal Records Office, which is responsible for issuing the fines.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in