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Boris Johnson set to make ‘full-throated’ apology over partygate lockdown fine

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The Prime Minister is set to make what has a been termed a ‘full-throated apology’ to MPs today, Tuesday, April 19. Last week the Metropolitan Police fined Boris Johnson for breaching his own coronavirus laws.

Mr Johnson was slapped with the fine for attending a birthday bash thrown in his honour in the Cabinet room in June 2020, during lockdown in breach of the Covid rules. It is widely expected that he will make a statement in the Commons today. It will be his first statement to Parliament since being fined and comes as MPs return to Westminster following the Easter recess.

Over the weekend, the PM has also been accused of not only attending a leaving party for his former communications chief Lee Cain on November 13 2020, but instigating the do. Downing Street declined to comment on the claims.

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However, PA news agency says it has been reported he will stop short of addressing allegations he instigated a separate lockdown leaving do, as he attempts to convince politicians there are bigger issues to focus on than the ‘partygate’ saga. It is thought he will zone in on the crisis in Ukraine, along with the Government’s controversial new policy on sending “illegal” migrants to Rwanda.

The Telegraph cited a Downing Street source as saying he will “offer a full-throated apology and recognise the strength of feeling” among MPs on partygate, but is unlikely to go into too much detail on the matter. He will obviously give an update on the fine because there is a clear need to do that, but it is difficult to pre-empt the findings of an ongoing police investigation publicly,” the source reportedly said.

According to The Telegraph, it is also thought Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons Speaker, will announce that he will allow a vote on an investigation into whether the PM misled Parliament with his partygate explanations.

On Monday, a senior Tory suggested a “war cabinet” could be established in place of a leadership contest to avoid detracting attention from the crisis in Ukraine if the PM steps down or is deposed. Sir Roger Gale said the “interim administration” could be led by the deputy prime minister, Dominic Raab, who briefly took the reins in 2020 when Mr Johnson was hospitalised with Covid-19.

The veteran Conservative MP previously submitted a letter of no confidence in the Prime Minister, which remains “on the table”, but has since said it is not the right time for a leadership election given the situation in Ukraine. He told the PA news agency he was now keen to establish if it may be possible to put a contest on hold if Mr Johnson resigns or is forced out of his job.

Meanwhile, former archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams said that without asking for repentance and forgiveness the Prime Minister’s position was not sustainable.

Speaking to Times Radio about the partygate saga on Monday, Dr Williams said: “Because I don’t believe that we should rule out the possibility of, to put it in religious terms, repentance and forgiveness, then it’s perfectly possible for somebody to say, ‘Yes, I got that badly wrong. I accept the consequence. I accept that this has damaged trust. I’m asking for another chance.’ But otherwise, I don’t see it’s a sustainable position, myself.”

Asked if he would recommend the Prime Minister confess in church over the issue, he said: “Yes, of course. Yes. A breach of the law, which has damaging consequences for society, which damages trust, which damages the integrity and credibility not only of an individual but of the Government, yes, it seems to be perfectly appropriate for the confessional.”

As well as addressing MPs in the Chamber, Mr Johnson is expected to speak to a meeting of the entire Conservative parliamentary party on Tuesday evening.

Written by: thehitnetwork

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