Downing Street confirmed Boris Johnson has been fined by the Metropolitan Police for taking part in his own birthday bash in the Cabinet Room of No 10 back on June 20, 2020. Police had provided further clarity about why the Prime Minister had been told he would receive a fixed-penalty notice as part of a wide-ranging probe into alleged lockdown parties in Westminster. The incident in question was reportedly a surprise birthday party for Mr Johnson, organised by his wife Carrie Johnson and for which the Chancellor Rishi Sunak was also in the room. They have both also been fined, but it has not been confirmed exactly why.
The decision to fine the Prime Minister – who had strenuously defended his conduct in the matter – has sparked furious calls for him to resign – including from Labour Party Sir Keir Starmer.
He raged on Twitter: “Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have broken the law and repeatedly lied to the British public. They must both resign.
“The Conservatives are totally unfit to govern. Britain deserves better.”
This sparked a reaction from Nile Gardiner, a foreign policy expert and former aide to Margaret Thatcher, who argued Putin would fully agree with Sir Keir for Mr Johnson to resign.
He tweeted: “I can imagine Vladimir Putin would heartily agree with @Keir_Starmer and would love to see @BorisJohnson out of office.
“The Russians would much prefer to deal with Sir Keir and his far Left socialists.”
Mr Johnson has been widely-praised for leading the UK’s response to Russia’s war in Ukraine, which has seen Britain slap Moscow and those close to Putin with crippling sanctions.
Britain has also been applauded for supplying weaponry to Ukraine, with the Prime Minister travelling to Kyiv to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky last weekend.
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On Tuesday, Scotland Yard confirmed it has made at least 50 50 referrals for fixed-penalty notices – more than double from the end of March – to ACRO Criminal Records Office, which is responsible for issuing the fines.
When addressing MPs in the House of Commons in December – shortly after allegations about parties in Downing Street first emerged – he insisted “all guidance was followed completely in No 10”.
In an interview with ITV political editor Robert Peston, Sir Keir said issuing the fine to Mr Johnson marked the “first time in the history of our country that a Prime Minister has been found to be in breach of the law”.
He said: “The British public made the most unimaginable, heart-wrenching sacrifices, and many were overcome by guilt.
“Guilt at not seeing elderly relatives, not going to funerals or weddings, or even seeing the birth of their own children.
“But the guilty men are the Prime Minister and the Chancellor.
“They’ve dishonoured all of that sacrifice, they’ve dishonoured their office.
“This is the first time in the history of our country that a Prime Minister has been found to be in breach of the law, and then he lied repeatedly to the public about it. Britain deserves better, they have to go.”
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also demanded the Prime Minister and Mr Sunak resign.
The SNP leader wrote on Twitter: “Boris Johnson must resign. He broke the law and repeatedly lied to parliament about it.
“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.”