Boris Johnson Denies Lying in ‘Partygate’ Scandal Inquiry
UK’s former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has denied lying to Parliament during the televised deposition as part of the inquiry into the “Partygate” scandal. The inquiry focuses on whether COVID-19 restrictions were broken during gatherings held in 10 Downing Street. Johnson claimed that he had told the truth in good faith based on what he believed at the time. He emphasized that the gatherings were workplace meetings, not parties. However, the senior Tory parliamentarian, Sir Bernard Jenkin, questioned the authenticity of Johnson’s claims, which led to a heated exchange.
Accusations and Consequences
Johnson has been accused of breaking the lockdown legislation, which he himself introduced, and misleading Parliament. If found guilty, he could face suspension from Parliament. A suspension of more than ten sitting days may trigger a special election for his northwest London seat if enough voters demand it. The COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK campaign group finds Johnson’s claim that he issued his “Partygate” denials “in good faith” as “sickening.” For the bereaved families, watching Johnson being questioned is the closest they get to accountability.
Boris Johnson Defends his Actions
Boris Johnson insisted that the gatherings were essential for work and that social distancing was maintained as far as possible. He recognized that perfect social distancing was not always observed, but the appropriate mitigations were put in place. Johnson released a 52-page dossier detailing his belief that he was truthful when he told Parliament that all regulations were being respected. In hindsight, he recognized that he did “mislead” lawmakers based on the assurances given by top aides that the rules were being followed. However, the parliamentary committee published a 110-page bundle of evidence hours before the televised hearing. The evidence includes a Downing Street official stating that Johnson “often saw and joined” gatherings in the complex during lockdowns and that “he had the opportunity to shut them down.”
Reactions to Boris Johnson’s Claims
The COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK campaign group believes that Johnson’s denials were sickening. Amanda Henry, whose father died of COVID-19, believes that Johnson should not have a career in government or be an MP after what he’s done. Johnson’s claim that the gatherings were workplace meetings, not parties, is disputed. Many people feel that Johnson is not being held accountable for his actions. Johnson was fined by the police for one gathering, and dozens of staff members also received fines.