The day of reckoning for Boris


Prime Minister Boris Johnson will apologise for breaking his own lockdown laws when he makes his first statement to MPs since being fined by police. Mr Johnson has vowed to “set the record straight” when he speaks to MPs at about 3.30pm.

Opposition parties have accused him of lying to Parliament after he previously told them no rules had been broken.

The prime minister will appeal to the MPs to focus instead on issues such as rising prices and the war in Ukraine.

There is no immediate threat to the Prime Minister as the country is going to poll on May 5. Conservatives are facing defeat at many councils and that will prompt more to join the anti-Boris brigade. But the opposition is planning to unseat the prime minister through a trust vote or a censure motion. Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle will decide the next course of action today.

“He’s not just broken the rules, he’s lied to the public and he’s lied to Parliament about it,” Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told ITV News.

He also accused the prime minister of using the conflict in Ukraine as a “shield” to keep his job, adding that he finds such a tactic “pretty offensive”.

“For millions of people, complying with the rules really, really hurt,” he added. “This is why it has gone so deep – we’ve all heard of terrible cases of funerals that people couldn’t attend.”

He dismissed the argument put forward by some of the Prime Minister’s allies like Transport Secretary Grant Shapps that Mr Johnson’s punishment was “like a speeding fine”.

“I have never had anybody break down in front of me because they couldn’t drive at 35mph in a 30mph zone; I have had no end of people in tears – in real bits – about complying with rules that really, really hurt them. There has been a pathetic display of Tory MPs going out to defend the indefensible” and it is “something they all ought to be ashamed of.

“I don’t really buy into this idea, by the way, that Johnson is the only person of any importance in the Ukraine crisis,” the Labour leader said. “He is using that, really, as a shield and I think that’s pretty offensive. I understand the argument that the Conservative Party is making, which is ‘we are not going to bring him down, we are prepared to go out and parrot his ridiculous defences’. I think for the public it is different, I think people still talk about this, they really hurt about it. I think any Conservative MP that thinks this is just going to go away is making a huge mistake.”

Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer speaks at the House of Commons. (Credit: UK Parliament_Jessica Taylor)

Mr Johnson became the first serving UK prime minister to be sanctioned for breaking the law when, along with his wife Carrie and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, he was fined last week for attending the birthday event held for him in the Cabinet Room in June 2020. The PM is also facing accusations of lying to MPs because he initially told them Covid rules had been followed in No 10 after the first reports of parties emerged last year.

Under government rules, ministers are expected to resign for knowingly misleading MPs – and correct the record as soon as possible if they inadvertently tell Parliament something false.

Mr Johnson has since said it “did not occur” to him at the time of the gathering that it could be in

Opposition parties strongly believe the prime minister deliberately misled parliament and are looking at various mechanisms to hold him to account.

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