Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak to be fined over lockdown parties

A No 10 spokeswomen confirmed the pair will be fined.

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak to be fined over lockdown-breaking parties during Covid pandemic Getty
The Met police are investigating Covid lockdown breaches.

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak are to be fined over lockdown-breaking parties.

A No 10 spokeswoman confirmed on Tuesday that the pair will be issued with fines for breaches of Covid-19 regulations.

Carrie Johnson, the Prime Minister’s wife, will also be fined, a spokesperson said.

It follows allegations of lockdown parties in Downing Street and Whitehall.

Earlier, the Metropolitan Police stated that it has now issued over 50 referrals for fixed penalty notices.

Despite the calls for Johnson to go, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said it “wouldn’t be right to remove the Prime Minister at this time”.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said that the Conservatives are “totally unfit” to govern, as he called for the pair to resign.

“Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have broken the law and repeatedly lied to the British public. They must both resign,” he Tweeted.

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

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called for the Prime Minister and Sunk to go.

“Boris Johnson must resign. He broke the law and repeatedly lied to parliament about it,” the SNP leader said.

“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.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar insisted “no one is above the law” as he added his voice to calls for them to resign.

He said: “Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have broken the law. The United Kingdom deserves better.

“They must resign. On May 5, send the Tories a message – no one is above the law.”

The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford said that the Prime Minister’s position is “completely untenable”.

“Boris Johnson misled parliament, lied to the public and broke the law. He must resign or be removed from office. The Prime Minister’s position is completely untenable,” he said.

“There simply cannot be one rule for the Tories and another for the rest of us.”

Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross said: “The public are rightly furious at what happened in Downing Street during the pandemic.

“I understand why they are angry and share their fury. The behaviour was unacceptable. The Prime Minister now needs to respond to these fines being issued. 

“However, as I’ve made very clear, in the middle of war in Europe, when Vladimir Putin is committing war crimes and the UK is Ukraine’s biggest ally, as President Zelensky said at the weekend, it wouldn’t be right to remove the Prime Minister at this time.

“It would destabilise the UK Government when we need to be united in the face of Russian aggression and the murdering of innocent Ukrainians.”

Insight Colin Mackay

A few months ago it looked pretty likely that if Boris Johnson was fined over partygate he would have to go. Since then the war in Ukraine has changed the mood quite a bit.

The Prime Minister’s support for Ukraine and his handling of that international crisis prompted the Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross and other MPs to withdraw their no confidence letters to their parliamentary party. The Prime Minister got a warm welcome from Conservative members at the party’s Scottish conference in Aberdeen, last month, although it seemed more luke-warm from Douglas Ross.

Now the clamour for Boris Johnson’s resignation will reach fever-pitch. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has led the line, first to call for him to quit. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has joined in and all the opposition parties will follow on; but the key question is what will the Tories do?

Will they stand by a leader who has misled parliament over partygate, who has lost public trust on this issue? My guess is that Boris Johnson will not give up willingly and his party will put up with that for a while yet, at least until they see how this plays with the public.