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Boris Johnson apologises for breaching the law and pays a £50 fine

Boris Johnson apologises for breaching the law and pays a £50 fine

Boris Johnson apologises for breaching the law and pays a £50 fine
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife, Carrie, apologised for violating lockdown restrictions after being fined £50 each by police for a “nine-minute” birthday celebration in the Cabinet Room.

In a statement, Mr. Johnson said he did not feel he had violated any laws at the time and would not resign. He is the first sitting Prime Minister to be discovered to have done so.

The PM’s wife, Carrie Johnson, and the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, were also penalized for attending the “impromptu” party on June 19, 2020, when indoor meetings of persons from different families were prohibited.

Mr Sunak kept mute when the penalties were levied, fueling concerns over his future in Westminster after days of revelations about his family’s finances.

“I offer an unreserved apology,” Mr Sunak stated hours after the Met Police issued the latest batch of Partygate penalties.

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While the Prime Minister’s own leadership appeared solid, senior dissidents indicated now was not the time to confront.

The Met stated on Tuesday that it was issuing 30 fresh Partygate penalties, raising the total to 50.

However, detectives are still investigating into 12 events in Downing Street and the Cabinet Office.

It increases the prospect of more sanctions for Mr Johnson. He has previously confessed to attending some of the gatherings, but has always denied doing any illegality.

There were roughly 30 people present during the “impromptu” birthday celebration in the Cabinet chamber on June 19, 2020.

Ms Lytle was renovating No 10 apartment at the time. “While waiting to speak to the Prime Minister,” a spokeswoman stated.

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Mr Johnson told the BBC he had paid the charge – estimated to be £100 but lowered to £50 if paid within 14 days – promptly.

He said: “Let me say immediately that I have paid the fine and I once again offer a full apology.”

A four-hour visit to a Hemel Hempstead school and a birthday party in the Cabinet Room were Mr Johnson’s day’s activities.

He said: “Amongst all these engagements, on a day that happened to be my birthday, there was a brief gathering in the Cabinet Room shortly after 2pm, lasting for less than 10 minutes, during which people I work with kindly passed on their good wishes.
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“And I have to say in all frankness, at the time, it did not occur to me that this might have been a breach of the rules.

“But of course the police have found otherwise and I fully respect the outcome of their investigation.”

The PM added: “I understand the anger that many will feel that I myself fell short when it came to observing the very rules which the Government I lead had introduced to protect the public, and I accept in all sincerity that people had a right to expect better.”

He said he felt “an even greater sense of obligation to deliver on the priorities of the British people” which were strengthening the economy, levelling up and “ensuring that Putin fails in Ukraine” and “easing the burden imposed on hard-working families caused by higher energy prices”.

When asked whether he was responsible for a culture in Downing Street during the epidemic, he said: “I take full responsibility for everything … but don’t forget that Downing Street is about 15,000 square feet. It’s a lot of officials working with hundreds and hundreds of officials. I couldn’t be everywhere at once.”

Mr Johnson insisted he was “standing up for nine minutes in the Cabinet Room where I work every day” and that he had previously told Parliament that no rules had been broken at No 10.

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According to sources close to Mrs Johnson, she told police she went to the Cabinet room with her newborn baby, Wilf, during her husband’s lunch break with socially distant workers.

A spokesperson for Mrs Johnson said: “Mrs Johnson has paid a Fixed Penalty Notice relating to a gathering on the afternoon of 19 June 2020. While she believed that she was acting in accordance with the rules at the time, Mrs Johnson accepts the Metropolitan Police Service’s findings and apologises unreservedly.”

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