LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will apologise to parliament on Tuesday for breaking his own COVID-19 lockdown guidelines, a senior official said.
Johnson was fined this week for attending a birthday celebration in June 2020 when people from different households were not allowed to meet indoors.
They accuse Johnson of deceiving parliament last year when he said all rules were followed in Downing Street, the prime minister’s official residence and workplace.
“When he spoke to parliament, he was speaking what he believed to be the truth,” Northern Ireland Minister Brandon Lewis told Sky News.
“He did not believe at that point that anything he had done was against the rules, but he absolutely accepted that the police had looked at this and had taken a different view.”
Johnson said he was in violation of the rules after being fined last week.
A poll by J L Partners for The Times newspaper indicated that 72% of respondents were critical of the PM, while only 16% were supportive. The most frequently used word was “liar.”
Opposition parties are debating whether to vote on whether Johnson is in contempt of parliament or refer him to a parliamentary committee to investigate if he intentionally misled lawmakers.
“It is simply incredible for the Prime Minister to say that he just didn’t know,” said opposition Labour Party legislator Emily Thornberry.
“He should tell us that he has lied, that he misled parliament, and he should resign.”
The battle in Ukraine, in which Johnson has sought to lead the West’s reaction, has eased the pressure on Johnson to leave.
While a few have urged him to leave, most think now is not the time.
Conservative lawmaker Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, treasurer of the party’s “1922 Committee,” said he would wait until the police inquiry was finished and the British public had voted in early May’s local elections.
At the moment, my judgement would be that it is certainly not in the country’s interests to think about replacing the prime minister, “he told BBC Radio.
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