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Boris Johnson confirms he will resign if he discovers he misled parliament

The prime minister faced yet another Commons grilling after a bruising week dominated yet again by Partygate.

Prime minister Boris Johnson has confirmed he will resign if it emerges he knowingly misled parliament.

When asked if the convention that any minister who breaks the ministerial code should resign applied to him, Johnson said: “Of course.”

In a PMQs so rowdy speaker Lindsay Hoyle threatened to send out jeering MPs, Johnson went on the offensive, branding Starmer a “lawyer not a leader”.

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Johnson faced the Commons for PMQs after a week which saw yet another Partygate revelation, as well as confirmation that the Met Police will investigate some of these parties and speculation over when Sue Gray’s report will be released.

The prime minister refused to address any element of the Downing Street party scandal, instead claiming he could not comment while an investigation was ongoing.

The Times reports that Johnson has committed to publishing the report, which is understood to be finished, in full.

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The PM has faced a rocky week after the revelation that he “accidentally” attended his own birthday party in June 2020, held in the cabinet room of Number 10 Downing Street. It has led to his MPs defending him in media rounds – to varying degrees of success.

ITV News reported that up to 30 people gathered with cake to wish Johnson happy birthday – when indoor social gatherings were forbidden.

PMQs, Boris Johnson, Keir Starmer
Keir Starmer reiterated his calls for Johnson to resign. Image: Parliament TV

Downing Street denied a later bash, held in the prime minister’s flat, took place, and said Johnson only attended the cabinet room party for 10 minutes.

Met Police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick on Tuesday announced that the force is investigating “a number of” gatherings held in Number 10 and across Whitehall during lockdown.

It can be hard to keep on top of all of the revelations, what with there being so many, so here’s a list of them – or the ones we know about anyway.

While Dick refused to say which parties were being investigated, she confirmed the investigation came after the matter was referred to the Met by the Cabinet Office – as a result of Gray’s findings.

Dick said: “What I can tell you this morning is that as a result firstly of the information provided by the Cabinet Office inquiry team and secondly my officers’ own assessment, I can confirm that the Met is now investigating a number of events that took place at Downing Street and Whitehall in the last two years in relation to potential breaches of Covid-19 regulations.”

On Tuesday, Lord Theodore Agnew, the government’s minister for counter fraud, dramatically quit as the despatch box, blaming the government’s “schoolboy errors” in tacking Covid fraud.

Agnew slammed departments for failing to prevent an estimated £29bn of fraud across government.

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