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Partygate: MPs demand Boris Johnson resigns over breaking lockdown laws

Boris Johnson is under the greatest pressure yet to resign after Downing St confirmed he would be fined by the police over lockdown parties

Opposition leaders and senior MPs are demanding the immediate resignation of Boris Johnson after sources confirmed he will be fined by police over lockdown parties.

The Met will hand both the prime minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak fixed penalty notices after investigating 12 gatherings held on Downing Street premises while people across the country were forced to stay at home by law.

Johnson and Sunak both rejected accusations of breaking their own laws when confronted by MPs, telling the Commons on different occasions that there were no parties, that they had no knowledge of them, that guidelines were followed or that they were work events.

But today a Downing Street spokesperson confirmed the pair had received notice of fines, two of around 50 which have been handed out by police so far. Critics said it made the ministers’ positions untenable.

Boris Johnson’s defence has “been blown out of the water”, wrote Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner.

“He told the country all the rules were followed in Downing Street – but that was a lie. Widespread criminality took place at the heart of his Government”, she added.

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Ed Davey, Liberal Democrat leader, called for parliament to be recalled to facilitate a vote of no confidence in the prime minister. MPs are in recess until April 19.

“This is a government in crisis neglecting a country in crisis,” Davey said.

Labour leader Keir Starmer called the Conservative party “totally unfit to govern”, accusing Johnson and Sunak of having broken the law and “repeatedly” lying to the British public.

“Britain deserves better,” Starmer wrote on Twitter.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, echoed calls for Johnson to quit.

“A Prime Minister who breaks the laws his government makes and then lies about it isn’t fit for office,” Khan said.

“Families made huge sacrifices and obeyed the law. Many said their last goodbyes to loved ones on the phone while the prime minister partied. 

“Boris Johnson must resign.”

Only one Conservative MP has spoken publicly about the development so far. Darren Henry, MP for Broxtowe, asked for Johnson to apologise.

“It is right that those who break rules are punished. Due to the Prime Minister’s and the Chancellor’s public facing roles I expect a public apology,” he tweeted. As I previously stated, I am not going to make my final statement until the full Sue Gray Report is released.”

“I’m sure Boris Johnson has a donor lined up to help out with the fine,” Lib Dem MP Wera Hobhouse said on Twitter.

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