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UK PM pays partygate fine, offers 'full apology'

By Aditi Khanna
April 13, 2022 11:43 IST
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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered a 'full apology' on Tuesday evening after confirming that he had paid the fine imposed on him by Scotland Yard for breach of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, known as the 'partygate' scandal of rule-breaking parties at Downing Street.

IMAGE: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

"I have paid the fine and I once again offer a full apology," Johnson told reporters from the Chequers prime ministerial retreat in Buckinghamshire.

"I want to be able to get on and deliver the mandate that I have, but also to tackle the problems that the country must face right now," he said, in response to demands for his resignation.

 

"I believe that it's my job to get on and deliver for the people of this country and that is what I'm going to do," he added.

It has emerged that he had been fined for attending his own birthday party in the Cabinet Room at Downing Street on June 19, 2020, at a time when mixing between households was legally restricted to control the spread of coronavirus.

Johnson defended his actions, saying 'in all frankness at that time it did not occur to me that this might have been a breach of the rules' and insisted that he 'spoke in completely good faith' when he initially said all government guidelines were followed at Downing Street.

Earlier, the UK Prime Minister's wife, Carrie Johnson, confirmed that she had paid her fine and also apologised.

It is expected that the Johnsons would have most likely been handed a 200 pounds fixed penalty notice each, which is a sanction similar to a parking ticket. Unless it is challenged, there is no court process involved after the fine imposed is paid up.

The Opposition parties have called for his resignation over the fixed penalty notice which proves he broke the law, with some demanding a recall of Parliament from its Easter recess for Boris Johnson to face MPs.

It has also been confirmed that UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is among over 30 fixed penalty notices issued by the Metropolitan Police earlier on Tuesday.

The Indian-origin finance minister is expected to have been fined for the same birthday party for Boris Johnson, organised by his wife Carrie in June 2020.

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Aditi Khanna
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