Boris Johnson despite police fines refuses to recognize 'criminality in Number 10 parties

Wednesday 30 March 2022

Boris Johnson, despite police fines, refuses to recognize 'criminality' in Number 10 parties

A. Supriyadi

Boris Johnson 

UK-LAWEMAS.COM, The prime minister's position has been termed as "untenable" by Labour, but Johnson ordered an MP questioning him about the incident to "hold your horses."

Boris Johnson was grilled by MPs in Downing Street after fines were levied over the police's partygate probe. He refused to acknowledge to crime.

During questions from the Commons liaison committee, the prime minister was pressed to admit that the Met Police's revelation this week of 20 fixed penalty letters meant that the law had been infringed.

Mr Johnson, however, rebuffed attempts by Pete Wishart of the Scottish National Party to compel him to do so or to admit to any infringement of the ministerial code, telling him: "You'll just have to hold your horses."

Earlier, a spokeswoman for the prime minister appeared to reject comments made by deputy prime minister Dominic Raab, who told Sky News that the fixed fines were being handed out to "those who have broken the regulations."

"You can at least agree there has been criminality," Mr Wishart told the PM.

"Are you willing to accept it?" For the love of God, twenty fixed penalty notices have been issued. There can't possibly be any ambiguity or question concerning criminality?"



"I hope I have been very open with the House about where I think we went wrong and the things that I regret and apologise for," Mr Johnson responded, "but there is an ongoing investigation."

"I see where you're coming from, but... I've made it clear that I won't provide continual commentary on an investigation."

The position of "Downing Street to sort of refuse to recognise what is a declaration of fact and law" has been branded as "absolutely untenable" by Labour, while the Liberal Democrats have called it "absurd."

Downing Street has promised to announce if Mr Johnson - or Cabinet Secretary Simon Case - is fined, but has yet to do so.

Mr Wishart told Mr Johnson that if he was given a fixed penalty, he would be "toast," but Mr Johnson refused to comment once more.

After initially telling parliament that no regulations had been broken in respect to the parties, the prime minister has been accused of breaking the ministerial code.

"He informed the House no rules were broken in Downing Street during lockdown," Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said of Mr Johnson during Prime Minister's Questions earlier.

"Police have now come to the conclusion that there was widespread criminality."

Ministers who willfully mislead the House of Commons should resign, according to the ministerial code, he said, and queried, "Why is he still here?"

"I think it's extremely important that you should be clear with the House of Commons," Mr Johnson told the select committee, "and I've tried my best to be as explicit as I can about my understanding of events."

Mr Raab told Sky News earlier on Wednesday that "obviously things were got wrong" and that the fines were for "those who have broken the regulations," but that the prime minister had since revamped the Number 10 operation.

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