Prime Minister Boris Johnson will resign, but only if he ‘knowingly’ misled the UK parliament.
Johnson has been embroiled in the Downing Street ‘Partygate’ scandal, dating back to the first emergence of clips discussing parties with ‘cheese and wine’ which wouldn’t be investigated, before an image of the PM appearing to host a Christmas quiz was shared alongside several other allegations.
Acknowledging people’s ‘rage’ at the government failing to follow its own rules, the PM apologised – however, he described the ‘bring your own booze’ garden party as a ‘work event’, which ensured the backlash would continue.
The controversy has seen pressure mounting on Johnson to resign from Labour leader Keir Starmer and deputy Angela Rayner. Home Secretary Priti Patel has stood by Johnson’s side, while Chancellor Rishi Sunak abruptly ended an interview after being asked if the PM should step down if Sue Gray’s investigation concludes that he broke the rules.
Ministerial Code states that ‘ministers who knowingly mislead parliament will be expected to offer their resignation to the prime minister’.
As per the Mirror Online, Johnson’s spokesperson said, ‘The guidance is clear, the Ministerial Code is very clear on this point, when it comes to knowingly misleading the house. And the prime minister abides by that and we fully support it.’
‘It’s important not to jump ahead and seek to conflate what is clearly set out in the Ministerial Code, which the prime minister has brought, and conflate that with what the investigation may or may not conclude or set out,’ he added.
Speaking to the house, Johnson said, ‘When I went into that garden just after six on May 20 2020, to thank groups of staff before going back into my office 25 minutes later to continue working, I believed implicitly that this was a work event. With hindsight I should have sent everyone back inside. I should have found some other way to thank them.’
When asked if he believed Johnson’s account, Sunak said, ‘Of course I do. The prime minister set out his understanding of this matter last week in parliament. I refer you to his words. Sue Gray is conducting an inquiry into this matter and I fully support the prime minister’s requests for patience while that concludes.’
Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s former aide who’s been critical of the PM ever since leaving No 10, has claimed he ‘knew he was at a drinks party because he was told it was a drinks party and it was actually a drinks party’.
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Topics: News, Boris Johnson, Downing Street, Now, UK