Madrid, (EUROPA PRESS). – UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reiterated his apology for attending social gatherings in full confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and made it clear that he “didn’t think” of meeting in Downing Street on his birthday in violation of the restrictions.
The British prime minister appeared before the House of Commons for the first time since he was fined for breaching restrictions last week.
In doing so, he affirmed that he understood the pain and anger caused by the holidays and acknowledged that citizens have the right to expect “the best” from their prime minister. “It was my mistake and I apologize unreservedly for it,” he added, before indicating that he preferred to focus on the situation in Ukraine in his speech.
In this context, he alluded to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “failure” in Ukraine and praised the “courage” of the Ukrainian people, although he warned that Russian forces had regrouped to launch an attack on the Donbass region.
He also referred to the meeting he had with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, in the capital, Kyiv, according to the BBC.
My job is to work every day to make the British people safer, more secure and prosperous, and that’s what I will continue to do.”
Britain’s opposition leader, Keir Starmer, responded to Johnson “what a joke” and said he had apologized “with a small mouth”, noting that the public “already realized it and did not believe not a word” from the ‘prime minister’.
“He is dishonest and incapable of change and drags the whole world with him,” added Starmer, who asked him not to “insult” the British.
Johnson, his wife Carrie and British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak received the fine on Tuesday. In total, the London Metropolitan Police issued thirty sentences. After receiving the fine, the “Prime Minister” confirmed that he paid it “immediately” and reiterated his apology for breaching the restrictions.
The Metropolitan Police has already fined the first 20 people for attending one of these events, for which they have already issued fifty sentences. It opened its own investigation into 12 of these events on eight different dates, with the aim of checking whether the regulations imposed by the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus were actually violated.
The police investigation was launched outside the government-mandated independent report that had already raised questions about some of the meetings that took place between May 2020 and April 2021. Johnson, who attended at least three of them, has apologized, but has always maintained that the rules were not broken.
Vote this Thursday
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsey Hoyle, has given the green light to a request from the British opposition to hold a vote and clarify whether Johnson should be investigated for lying to Parliament about the meetings.
The body responsible for conducting the inquiry in question will be the Privileges Committee, made up of seven MPs that reflect the makeup of the House of Commons. It is currently made up of four Conservatives, two from Labor and one from the Scottish National Party (SNP).
It is run by a member of the opposition, in this case Chris Bryant. If the committee continues to vote to conduct the investigation, they will have to prepare a report and then refer it to the House of Commons. Its conclusions and recommendations will have to be voted on again in the Chamber.
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