LONDON (AP), — Boris Johnson, Prime Minister, was waiting for the results of an investigation into lockdown-breaching allegations. This document could have helped him end weeks and weeks of discontent or bring his time in office abruptly to an abrupt halt.
Sue Gray, a senior civil servant, could hand in her report to government on Wednesday. Johnson previously stated that she would publish the report in its entirety and address Parliament about it.
Johnson stated that “When I get it, of course” he would do the same as he said during a testy session of Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons.
He evaded questions about the scandal, his future and said he had “absolutely not intention” to resign.
Gray’s office would not comment on the timing of Gray’s report, while Liz Truss, Foreign Secretary, said that the Conservative government had yet to receive the report Wednesday morning.
She said that she expected the BBC to be able to finish in a matter of days.
Truss stated that she could not guarantee publication of the entire report by the government, citing security issues that might make it difficult to publish. However, we will publish the report’s findings.”
Public anger over allegations that Johnson and his staff ignored restrictions placed on the country by the government to stop the spread of coronavirus has led to some Conservative lawmakers calling for Johnson’s resignation. This in turn sparked intense internal fighting within the ruling party.
Johnson’s popularity in opinion polls plummeted amid the scandal, and Wednesday’s headlines were more bad news. The Guardian’s headline on Wednesday’s front page spoke of “PM’s peril” while the left-leaning Daily Mirror stated bluntly: “Number’s up, PM.” The right wing Daily Mail disagreed and declared Britain, “A nation that has lost any sense of proportion.”
Johnson urged his critics not to wait for Gray’s conclusion, but Johnson’s “wait and see” defense was weakened Tuesday when police announced that they had opened an investigation into some gatherings.
London’s Metropolitan Police said that Johnson’s Downing Street Office and other government buildings were among the events that met the criteria of the force for investigating “most serious and flagrant” violations of coronavirus rules.
Both criminal and civil service investigations are based on claims that government employees held late-night parties, boozy parties, and “wine Fridays” during coronavirus restrictions in Britain in 2020 and 2021.
Many Britons were furious at the “partygate” allegations. They were prohibited from seeing their friends or family for several months in 2020 and 2021 in order to stop COVID-19 spreading. Police fined tens of thousands of people for violating the rules.
Detectives will question Johnson about his involvement. This will be the first interview of a prime minister since Tony Blair was questioned as a witness in 2007 over a cash for honors scandal. In that case, no one was arrested.
Andrew Rosindell, a Conservative lawmaker, downplayed any wrongdoings by the prime Minister.
He said, “I’m certain there are ministers who get speed tickets and parking tickets, too.” “Lots and lots of people break the law in small, sometimes unintentional ways. He hasn’t robbed any bank.”
Johnson and his aides have attempted to calm a scandal without much success. This is distracting government energies from addressing the international crisis over Russia’s military buildup near Ukraine and a far-from-finished Coronavirus pandemic.
Johnson apologized for not attending a “bring-your-own booze” event in the Downing Street office’s garden in May 2020. However, Johnson said that he considered the party to be a work gathering that was within the rules.
Johnson’s supporters also supported a surprise birthday party for Johnson in June 2020 at Downing Street.
Conor Burns, loyal lawmaker, said Johnson didn’t know of the gathering in advance.
Burns stated that it was not an organized, premeditated party. He was in fact, “ambushed” with a cake.