Last week, UK PM Johnson was fined 50 pounds ($66) for attending his own surprise birthday party in 10 Downing Street in June 2020.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday offered a “wholehearted” apology for attending an illegal party during the Covid-19 lockdown but said he didn’t knowingly break rules or mislead Parliament. Johnson told lawmakers in the House of Commons “it did not occur to me” that the gathering was a party.
Last week, Johnson was fined 50 pounds ($66) for attending his own surprise birthday party in 10 Downing Street in June last year. Police are still investigating several other parties in government buildings that Johnson is alleged to have attended.
“Let me also say not by way of mitigation or excuse, but purely, purely because it explains my previous words in this house, that it did not occur to me then or subsequently, the day gathering in the Cabinet Room, just before the vital meeting on Covid strategy, could amount to a breach of the rules,” Bloomberg quoted Johnson as saying in Parliament. “That was my mistake. And I apologise for it, unreservedly.”
The lawmakers will vote in the Commons on Thursday on whether to refer Johnson to the committee on standards for misleading the House.
Meanwhile, Mark Harper, a senior lawmaker in Britain’s ruling Conservative Party, called on Johnson to resign, saying he did not believe “he is worthy of the great office that he holds”, reported news agency Reuters.
Harper, a former chief whip who helped maintain party discipline, told Johnson in the chamber that he needed to quit after he was fined by police for breaking his own Covid-19 rules. Harper has also submitted a letter of no confidence in the prime minister.
(With inputs agencies)
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in trouble with MPs over the ‘partygate’ scandal, will face a crucial House of Commons vote on Thursday to determine whether he should be referred for further investigation over his ‘misleading’ statements to Parliament in connection with the episode. Speaking on the issue, opposition leader Keir Starmer of the Labour Party lashed out at the 57-year-old premier for his conduct.
The IMF in a report released on Tuesday concluded that Russia’s war in Ukraine will severely set back global economic recovery, slow growth, increase inflation, cause grave risks to the financial system, and potentially permanently fragment the world economy into geopolitical blocs, and as a result revised its global growth projection for 2022 from 4.4% to 3.6%. For 2023, it revised its growth projections from 3.8% to 3.6%.
The Sri Lanka police on Tuesday shot dead one man and wounded 10 others, news agency AFP reported, quoting officials. This is reportedly the first killing of a protester in weeks of anti-government demonstrations over the island’s crisis. Police used live ammunition against a group who were blocking a highway in Rambukkana to protest acute oil shortages and high prices, hospital and police the report added.
Russia will use only conventional weapons in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in response to a question about the possible use of nuclear arms in the war. The comments, in an interview Tuesday to India Today television, are among the most categorical from a senior Russian official on the issue, although Lavrov isn’t directly responsible for military decision-making. In the interview, Lavrov said Russia’s military operation has entered a new phase and will continue.
China on Tuesday said it had signed a wide-ranging security pact with the Solomon Islands, an agreement Western governments fear could give Beijing a military foothold in the South Pacific. “Foreign ministers of China and Solomon Islands officially signed the framework agreement on security cooperation recently,” Chinese spokesman Wang Wenbin said. Where is Solomon Islands? The Solomons are an archipelago of hundreds of small islands in the southern part of Pacific Ocean.