Johnson apologizes for Covid breach, faces vote on inquiry

London, Apr 19 (EFE).- The United Kingdom’s prime minister Boris Johnson apologized to lawmakers Tuesday for breaching his own government’s lockdown rules in June 2020, for which he received a police fine.

“Let me begin in all humility by saying that on 12 April I received a Fixed Penalty Notice relating to an event in Downing Street on 19 June 2020, I paid the fine immediately and offered the British people a full apology,” Johnson said.

The Conservative Party leader was facing the House of Commons for the first time since he was identified along with his wife Carrie Johnson and his finance chief Rishi Sunak among around 50 individuals who were fined by the Metropolitan Police for breaking lockdown rules by holding social gatherings in government and official institutions during the various lockdowns in the UK.

“As soon as I received the notice, I acknowledged the hurt and the anger and I said that people had a right to expect better of their prime minister and I repeat that in the house now.

“It did not occur to me then or subsequently that a gathering in the cabinet room just before a vital meeting on Covid strategy could amount to a breach of the rules, that was my mistake and I apologize for it unreservedly,” he added.

Leader of the opposition, Keir Starmer, did not accept Johnson’s apologies.

“Even now, as the latest apology stumbles out of one side of his mouth a new set of deflections and distortions pour from the other.

“But the damage is already done, the public have made up their mind. They don’t believe a word the prime minister says. They know what he is,” Starmer said.

Commons speaker Lindsay Hoyle earlier approved a motion tabled by the opposition Labour Party that will allow MPs on Thursday to vote on whether to refer Johnson to a parliamentary inquiry on whether the prime minister misled parliament by denying that Covid-19 rules had been broken at Downing Street.

Last week, Downing Street confirmed that Johnson and Sunak had been fined in relation to a surprise birthday party held for the head of government. EFE


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