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Montevideo, August 17th 2022 - 18:47 UTC

 

 

British PM and Finance Minister fined in “party-gate” scandal

Tuesday, April 12th 2022 - 23:06 UTC
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“It did not occur to me that this might have been a breach of the rules,” Boris Johnson explained “It did not occur to me that this might have been a breach of the rules,” Boris Johnson explained

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Tuesday apologized to the people for his involvement and that of his staff in the so-called “party-gate” scandal, which consisted basically of holding private meetings and celebrations while the population was held under strict lockdown due to COVID-19.

Johnson also announced he had paid the fine imposed by Scotland Yard for violating the rules he himself had decreed, but there was no side he might step down as demanded by the Labour opposition.

“I have paid the fine and I apologize in full,” Johnson said. “I want to move on and carry out the mandate to tackle the problems facing the country,” he added.

“In all frankness, at that time, it did not occur to me that this might have been a breach of the rules,” the Prime Minister explained.

London police announced Tuesday they had imposed more than 50 fines as part of their investigation into breaches of confinement rules by the prime minister and staff at his Downing Street office. Police fined Johnson along with about 30 other people, including Finance Minister Rishi Sunak.

Scotland Yard has been investigating allegations for months that Johnson and members of his team hosted and attended a dozen parties and other social events when they were banned during the 2020 and 2021 confinements because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The investigation is continuing to progress,” police said in a statement. “As of Tuesday, April 12, 2022, we have served more than 50 penalty notices for breaches of the Covid-19 regulations,” it added.

The police had already announced in March the first series of about 20 fines, without disclosing the identity of those sanctioned, thus reigniting the so-called “party-gate” scandal, which had Johnson fearing for his political survival amid calls for his resignation from both the opposition and from several MPs from his own Conservative Party alike.

Johnson apologized for the festivities, which included everything from Christmas celebrations to a massive farewell to an employee on the eve of the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose funeral could only be attended by 30 socially estranged people due to restrictions.

The 57-year-old prime minister, who initially denied there were any parties at the Downing Street premises where he lives and works, has consistently claimed he committed no offenses. Since then, the Russian invasion of Ukraine shifted the focus of media and public opinion, easing the political pressure on Johnson.

Categories: Politics, International.

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