Boris Johnson breaks silence after Partygate fines confirmed – but only mentions Biden, Putin and Zelenskyy
Mr Johnson is to be fined in relation to a gathering of two or more people indoors at 10 Downing Street on On June 19, 2020
Boris Johnson has broken his silence for the first time since being notified he would be fined over the ongoing Partygate probe.
A statement from No.10 on Tuesday confirmed that both Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak “have today received notification that the Metropolitan Police intend to issue them with fixed penalty notices” over breaches of Covid-19 laws in relation to lockdown parties.
A further statement revealed that the fine is in relation to a gathering of two or more people indoors between 2pm and 3pm in the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street on June 19, 2020.
But instead of speaking out on the Partygate fine, he referenced the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and US President Joe Biden.
Mr Johnson said in a tweet: "I've just spoken to Joe Biden and updated him on my meeting with President Zelenskyy in Kyiv this weekend.
"Our joint focus remains on supporting President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people in their fight for freedom.
"Putin's barbaric venture cannot be allowed to succeed."
There have been calls for Mr Johnson to resign from his post, including from Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
But Tory MPs have urged the PM not to step down during the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Tory MP Sir Roger Gale said: “It’s serious of course. My position remains that the fact that the Prime Minister has effectively misled the House of Commons is a very serious issue indeed, but we are in the middle of an international crisis and I am not prepared to give Vladimir Putin the comfort of thinking that we are about to unseat the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and destabilise the coalition against Putin.
“So any reaction to this is going to have to wait until we have dealt with the main crisis which is Ukraine and the Donbas.”
He continued: “The Prime Minister has said categorically no rules were broken and nothing untoward took place. That is patently wrong and he now has to acknowledge that it’s wrong. And he will have to decide I think where that leaves him in his relationship with Parliament.
“My main concern is that we don’t rock the boat and give Putin the comfort of thinking that the alliance, the NATO alliance particularly, but the coalition that’s been put together to sanction Putin and all his works, is unstable. That’s absolutely of paramount importance.”
Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross added: "The public are rightly furious at what happened in Downing Street during the pandemic. I understand why they are angry and share their fury. The behaviour was unacceptable. The Prime Minister now needs to respond to these fines being issued.
"However, as I've made very clear, in the middle of war in Europe, when Vladimir Putin is committing war crimes and the UK is Ukraine's biggest ally, as President Zelensky said at the weekend, it wouldn't be right to remove the Prime Minister at this time.
“It would destabilise the UK Government when we need to be united in the face of Russian aggression and the murdering of innocent Ukrainians."