When he becomes the first Prime Minister to address Parliament as a lawbreaker, the nervous Tories fear the scandal and the fact that their boss faces more fines imposed could cost them dearly in May’s local elections
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Boris Johnson may be desperate to get away from his embarrassing Partygate fine, but grieving Covid families and even some of his own MPs stand firmly in his way.
When he becomes the first Prime Minister to address Parliament as a lawbreaker, the nervous Tories fear the scandal and the fact that their boss faces more fines imposed could cost them dearly in May’s local elections.
Mr Johnson faces a vote as early as tomorrow on whether to refer him to the Commons Privileges Committee to investigate whether he misled MPs about Partygate. If found guilty, he could be suspended by Parliament.
A veteran Tory claimed that unease about the prime minister’s position was “almost universal” among peers, save for a handful of loyalists.
Aiders No10 said Mr Johnson is expected to apologize “heartily” to MPs for breaking the birthday celebration on June 19, 2020 at today’s showdown.
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But the shameless PM will use the Commons session to insist he has not broken Covid laws, despite paying the fine and apologizing for his breach.
Those who have lost loved ones to the pandemic have reacted with anger at his attempt to divert focus from his breaking the rules he expected of us all.
One said: “If Boris Johnson wants people to move away from Partygate, he needs to move away from his office.”
Lobby Akinnola of the Covid-19 Survivors for Justice added: “It’s no surprise that the Prime Minister wants people to move away from Partygate.
“It has been shown why he is unfit for service…breaking the law, selfishness, dishonesty and a callous disregard for the people he is assigned to lead. Tragically, we can’t all just move on like this. Like the other 180,000 survivors, mine do not have the privilege of simply forgetting my father’s death, nor do they have the privilege of determining which laws we abide by.
“Moving on is all the more difficult when the country is still ruled by a man who prioritizes ‘Cheese and Wine Night’ and a ‘Christmas Quiz’ over compliance with the laws there to protect all of us he put in place. “
Labor Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said: “Boris Johnson’s crime circus should be nearing its final act. Not only has he deliberately misled the British people at every turn, he has belittled his office and shamed our country.
“This Prime Minister’s compulsive lying to Parliament is a disturbing pattern of behavior that cannot be allowed to continue another day.”
Mr Johnson will try to shift the focus to the Ukraine war, his asylum seeker policy in Rwanda and the domestic cost of living crisis. But he might have an uphill battle to convince the public after a scathing poll by JLPartners, which asked the public to share their opinion of him in a few words.
About 72% of respondents answered negatively, with the most common word being “liar.”
Concerned Tory MPs fear the ‘drop, drop’ of Partygate fines could deal them a major blow in the election. And they warn that a by-election in Wakefield’s Red Wall seat, which Labor took over in 2019, was a moment of grave danger for the Prime Minister. A former minister said: “In the end I suspect the trigger will be when we lose Wakefield.
“It looks very unlikely that he can continue. It’s more about when MPs act, not if.”
Tory MP Tobias Ellwood, who has urged Mr Johnson to call a confidence vote for himself, said: “However you look at it, it’s uncomfortable for all Conservative MPs. We recognize how far the party has come with Boris as leader, but also the obvious dangers that now loom on the horizon if he is retained.
“That is the very difficult dilemma that worries us all now. We can’t just drift and hope it goes away. This approach only gets us to the general election that we all know we could potentially lose.”
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Commenting on the Prime Minister’s insistence that he was not breaking any laws, former Tory Cabinet Secretary David Gauke said: “Then why did he pay the fine?
“He had the right to refuse and could have defended himself in court if charged. Paying the fine while denying the offense is just more cake.” But another Tory critic of the Prime Minister added: “While the public has certainly not forgotten, he will only try to blurt it out.”
Mr Johnson plans to meet his MPs tonight for a discussion on “clear air” to try to bolster support.
A close ally said that while the Prime Minister accepted that “mistakes were made”, he would claim there was an “exemption” for work – although that didn’t cover socialising.
After being fined, Mr Johnson vowed to “correct the record as best he can” when Parliament returned. He had repeatedly told MPs that no rules had been broken.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been approached by police after she was filmed without a face mask campaigning – days before Covid laws were dropped there. But no further action will be taken.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/boris-johnson-facing-crunch-vote-26740333 Boris Johnson starts Crunch Partygate week as first Prime Minister to take on Commons as a lawbreaker