Wolfson quits over Johnson’s ‘partygate’ scandal

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The Justice Secretary, Dominic Raab, added that the “world-class lawyer” would be “sorely missed” in Government…reports Asian Lite News

Boris Johnson suffered the first ministerial resignation from his British government since he and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, as well as dozens of officials, were fined for breaking the pandemic laws.

Justice minister David Wolfson, a peer in the UK’s unelected upper House of Lords, cited the “repeated rule-breaking” and “breaches of the criminal law” in Downing Street as his reason for quitting.

 “The scale, context and nature of those breaches mean that it would be inconsistent with the rule of law for that conduct to pass with constitutional impunity,” Wolfson said in a letter to Johnson published on Wednesday.

It’s the most significant sign of dissent within Johnson’s ruling Conservatives since the prime minister and Sunak were fined on Tuesday by police for attending a gathering on the prime minister’s birthday in June 2020, in breach of the Covid laws their government passed.

Earlier on Wednesday, Nigel Mills became the first Tory Member of Parliament to call for the premier to quit in the wake of his being penalized, telling the Press Association that Johnson’s position was “impossible.”

Wolfson said the Met Police’s confirmation of the news “lead to the inevitable conclusion that there was repeated rule breaking, and breaches of the criminal law, in Downing Street.”

He continued: “It is not just a question of what happened in Downing Street, or your own conduct. It is also, and perhaps more so, the official response to what took place.”

Elsewhere, he suggested the UK could not “credibly defend democratic norms abroad” if it was not seen to be “resolutey committed both to the observanc of the law and also to the rule of law”.

In response, Johnson said he was “sorry to recieve” the resignation.

The Prime Minister wrote to the Tory peer: “We have greatly benefited from your years of legal experience, and you can be proud of the contribution you have made to the Government as we have implemented important reforms to cut crime and support victims.”

The Justice Secretary, Dominic Raab, added that the “world-class lawyer” would be “sorely missed” in Government.

Tory MPs and ministers rallied around Johnson on Wednesday, insisting the PM had apologised and should not resign after receiving the fine.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps defended the Prime Minister on Wednesday morning, saying he is “human” and did not knowingly break the law.

Asked on Sky News how Johnson can “possibly remain in office”, he said: “Everyone is human, people sometimes make mistakes.”

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