“Partygate”: Boris Johnson targeted by a parliamentary inquiry – Le Monde

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologized to Parliament on April 20, 2022. JESSICA TAYLOR / AFP Pressure is mounting in Downing Street. British MPs approved, Thursday, April 21, the opening of an investigation which will have to determine whether the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, knowingly misled Parliament on the “parties” organized despite the containment measures in force for coping with the Covid-19 epidemic. At first, the conservative leader had denied the facts. The case, known as ‘partygate’ and for a time on the back burner due to the war in Ukraine, was revived last week when Mr Johnson was fined for breaching Covid-19 restrictions , by participating in this surprise party organized for his 56th birthday, in June 2020. He then became the first British head of government in office sanctioned for breaking the law. Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Boris Johnson, isolated, faces a police investigation into “partygate” The ministerial code provides that a minister who has knowingly deceived Parliament must resign. To force Boris Johnson to leave his post, 54 of the 360 ​​elected Conservatives must send a letter of no-confidence to the chairman of the “Committee of 1922”, a parliamentary group of the Tories in the House of Commons. The case threatened Boris Johnson’s position as head of the UK government earlier this year, when a number of MPs from his own Conservative Party called for his resignation. “A contempt of Parliament” If he admitted to having made an error of judgment, Boris Johnson affirmed not to have knowingly deceived Parliament. On Tuesday, he asked the deputies for forgiveness. On an official trip to India, the Prime Minister was not present at the time of the vote. During the debate preceding the vote, Conservative Steve Baker, one of the leading figures in the campaign to leave the European Union, said that Boris Johnson should resign. He accused the Prime Minister of breaking “the letter and the spirit” of the law, adding that Boris Johnson “should now be long gone”, that “the concert was over”. “The Prime Minister has been accused of repeatedly, deliberately and routinely misleading the House about parties being held in Downing Street during lockdown,” Labor leader Keir Starmer said. “It is a serious and serious accusation, it amounts to contempt of Parliament,” he added to the elected officials. Read also Article reserved for our subscribers has completed its own investigations, which could lead to additional fines for the prime minister. The government finally withdrew the tabling of the amendment just before the start of the debates in the lower house. Conservative elected officials have expressed their discomfort at the idea of ​​​​having to oppose a thorough examination of the actions of Boris Johnson, which have damaged the confidence of the British in the government. Boris Johnson’s spokesman claimed the Tories had been told they could vote as they pleased or even opt out of the vote. Tory MP William Wragg, a critic of his party leader, has called again for Boris Johnson to step down. “I can’t come to terms with the prime minister continuing to lead our country,” he said. “The party bears the scars of the errors of judgment of its leadership (…), it is quite disheartening to have to defend the indefensible. » Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Boris Johnson redesigns Downing Street to save his mandate Le Monde with AP and Reuters