Boris Johnson Says He Is 'Trying To Move Beyond' Partygate And Focus On 'What Really Matters'

The prime minister was quizzed over Keir Starmer's pledge to resign if he is fined for breaking lockdown rules.
Boris Johnson said it was time to "move on" from partygate.
Boris Johnson said it was time to "move on" from partygate.
Frank Augstein via PA Wire/PA Images

Boris Johnson has said he wants to “move beyond” the row over lockdown-busting parties in Downing Street and “focus on what really matters”.

The prime minister spoke out as he was quizzed about Keir Starmer’s pledge to resign if he is fined over beergate.

Johnson has already been handed a fixed penalty notice by the Metropolitan Police for attending his own birthday party in the Cabinet Room in Number 10 in June, 2020.

He has repeatedly insisted he will not quit, despite the threat of more fines for other parties being investigated by the police.

Asked at a press conference in Sweden whether he was acting “dishonourably” compared to the Labour leader, the PM said: “We’re trying to move beyond all that and trying to focus on the issues that really matter, not least the war in Ukraine.”

The partygate scandal resulted in several Tory MPs publicly calling on Johnson to resign, with even more submitting letters of no confidence in his leadership to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the backbench 1922 committee.

Durham Constabulary last week announced that they were re-opening their investigation into whether Starmer breached covid guidelines by having curry and beer with colleagues in April last year.

In response, the Labour leader said he will resign if the police issue him with a fine.

He said: “If the police decide to issue me with a fixed penalty notice I would of course do the right thing and step down.”

The Labour leader said the idea he would “casually break” Covid restrictions was “wrong”.


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