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updated 1:57 AM UTC, Jun 29, 2022

Boris Johnson Must Resign Over Lawbreaking At No 10 – Starmer

BBC: Boris Johnson must resign as prime minister over “widespread criminality” in Downing Street during lockdown, Sir Keir Starmer has said.

It comes after the Metropolitan Police said the first 20 fines for Covid rule-breaking at parties are to be issued.

Labour leader Sir Keir accused Mr Johnson of misleading MPs by previously saying no rules had been broken.

Mr Johnson said the police must be allowed to get on with their investigations.

“In the meantime,” he added, “we are getting on with our job,” which he said was tackling cost of living pressures and energy supplies.

Mr Johnson faced shouts of “resign” from opposition MPs at Prime Minister’s Questions, as he was quizzed about Partygate.

Sir Keir said: “He told the House no rules were broken in Downing Street during lockdown. The police have now concluded there was widespread criminality.

“The ministerial code says that ministers who knowingly mislead the House should resign. Why’s he still here?”

‘Come off it’

Mr Johnson replied: “Hang on a minute, we do at least expect some consistency from this human weathervane – it was only a week or so ago he was saying that I shouldn’t resign. What is his position?”

Sir Keir said the PM was either “trashing the ministerial code or he’s claiming he was repeatedly lied to by his own advisers, that he didn’t know what was going on in his own house and his own office”.

He added: “Come off it. He really does think it’s one rule for him and another rule for everyone else, that he can pass off criminality in his office and ask others to follow the law.”

In reply, Mr Johnson launched an attack on Sir Keir, claiming the Labour leader would “like to take us back into the EU and take us back into lockdown if he possibly could”.

‘Cost of living emergency’

The two party leaders also clashed over Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s mini-Budget, which Sir Keir called “utterly cynical” by increasing the overall tax burden now but offering a “small” tax cut before the next election.

Mr Johnson insisted Mr Sunak’s changes to National Insurance thresholds and a cut to fuel duty added up to a tax cut for most workers.

The Liberal Democrats and the SNP are also calling for the PM to quit over Downing Street parties held in the pandemic.

The SNP’s leader at Westminster Ian Blackford seized on a dinner for Conservative MPs at a London hotel on Tuesday night, at which the prime minister gave a rallying speech.

“We all know that the Tories partied during lockdown and now they’re partying through the cost of living emergency,” he said.

The Metropolitan Police have been investigating 12 events, including at least three attended by Mr Johnson.

The force have sent out more than 100 questionnaires to ask about people’s participation in the events, and 20 fixed penalty notices for Covid rule-breaking have been issued by post, with more expected to follow.

Mr Johnson previously told the House of Commons that Covid guidelines had been followed in Downing Street “at all times”.

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