BoJo Says It Would Be Irresponsible to Resign Amid Ukraine Crisis as He's Grilled Over Partygate
16:33 GMT 01.06.2022 (Updated: 15:19 GMT 28.05.2023)
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that leaving office over the partygate scandal would be an irresponsible decision against the backdrop of spiking prices in the country and the crisis unfolding in Ukraine.
"I have thought about all these questions a lot as you could imagine and I just cannot see how actually it would be responsible right now given everything that is going on," Johnson was quoted as saying by the Telegraph newspaper.
Johnson pointed out that he remains in office despite multiple calls for his resignation as the United Kingdom has "got huge pressures economically," while responding to the "biggest war in Europe for 80 years."
In early April, Johnson visited Ukraine, where he held talks with President Volodymyr Zelensky. The UK has provided Ukraine with billions of dollars in loans, along with advanced military equipment amid Russia's special operation to de-Nazify and demilitarise the country. The PM has been aggressively pushing for tough sanctions against Russia.
Talking to Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts earlier, the prime minister claimed he was "very, very surprised" to receive a fine for attending a lockdown-violating gathering in Downing Street.
He apologised once again for breaching lockdown rules, and said: "I think if people look at the event in question it felt to me like a work event, I was there for a very short period of time in the cabinet office, at my desk, and I was very, very surprised and taken aback to get a fixed penalty notice."
After the release of Sue Gray's partygate report, which investigated lockdown-breaking parties in 2020 and 2021, the British prime minister told parliament he took "full responsibility for everything that took place under my watch".
Tensions are mounting in the UK amid numerous reports that Johnson may soon face a no-confidence vote after losing the overwhelming support of the Conservative Party in the Parliament. A total of 43 Tory MPs have so far publicly questioned Johnson's future as British prime minister, while 28 MPs insist he should step down immediately.
Johnson has been grappling with calls to resign after a series of revelations showed that several social gatherings were held at his offices throughout 2020 and 2021, flouting COVID-19 social distancing rules. The situation was aggravated by the reports that two more parties were held on April 16 last year, right before Prince Philip's funeral, when the UK still maintained COVID-19 restrictions and was in national mourning. Johnson later apologized and said he had paid the fine issued by the Metropolitan Police.