British PM Johnson urged to explain how lockdown party not a breach of ministerial code

31/5/2022 9:31:00 PM

UK adviser says Johnson must explain why he has not broken the ministerial code

https://str.sg/w2jTLONDON (REUTERS) - Britain’s independent adviser on ministers’ behaviour said on Tuesday (May 31) that Prime Minister Boris Johnson must explain why he thought he had not broken the ministerial code after being fined over attending a party during the Covid-19 national lockdown.

It had previously been expected that ministers who breached the guidance would be dismissed, but the government last week redrafted some of the rules to reduce the potential sanctions for those who break the code.Christopher Geidt, the independent adviser on ministers’ interests, said there is a “legitimate question” about whether he broke the ethics rules when he was fined by the police over a birthday party in June 2020 when indoor socialising was banned.

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Copy to clipboard https://str.LinkedIn LONDON — British prime minister Boris Johnson is facing the growing threat of a confidence vote as two more lawmakers suggested they had lost faith in his government over the"partygate" scandal and a former party leader said he could be challenged next week.Copy to clipboard https://str.Copy to clipboard https://str.

sg/w2jT LONDON (REUTERS) - Britain’s independent adviser on ministers’ behaviour said on Tuesday (May 31) that Prime Minister Boris Johnson must explain why he thought he had not broken the ministerial code after being fined over attending a party during the Covid-19 national lockdown. It had previously been expected that ministers who breached the guidance would be dismissed, but the government last week redrafted some of the rules to reduce the potential sanctions for those who break the code. "Sadly, the prime minister appears unwilling to bring matters to a head," Mr Stevenson said in a statement. Christopher Geidt, the independent adviser on ministers’ interests, said there is a “legitimate question” about whether he broke the ethics rules when he was fined by the police over a birthday party in June 2020 when indoor socialising was banned. British civil servant Sue Gray's probe into illegal pandemic parties contained no smoking gun when it was published last week, and an immediate attempt to oust the prime minister did not materialise. Geidt said he had repeatedly told the prime minister to publicly explain why he thought incurring a fixed-penalty notice would not be in breach of the code of conduct for ministers, but said: “That advice has not been heeded. I have already taken the appropriate action.” Johnson responded in a letter saying said that Geidt had not directly raised with him the need for a statement on his compliance with the code and blamed a “failure of communications” between their two offices. Mr Johnson became the first sitting British prime minister found to have broken the law when he was fined for attending a birthday party in No.

The prime minister said he had complied with the code’s requirements by correcting statements to parliament denying that there had been parties at his residence. More than 25 Conservative lawmakers have called on Mr Johnson to resign, while at least a further six have criticised his conduct but stopped short of saying he should resign. Here are some of the dangers: The Conservative Party's mood is dire The Tory reaction to partygate shows there is no collective view on Mr Johnson among the party's 359 MPs. He said they had been delivered “in good faith” but turned out to be untrue. More On This Topic . Mr William Hague, who led the Conservative Party from 1997 to 2001, said Mr Johnson is likely to face a vote of confidence by the end of June and could face one as early as next week when members of parliament return from recess.