UK MPs order probe into PM Johnson’s conduct

94
3
UK MPs order probe into PM Johnson’s conduct

British politicians ordered a parliamentary investigation into whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson lied about whether he broke coronaviruses restrictions by attending gatherings.

The move, approved by cries of aye and without a formal vote in the House of CommonsHouse of Commons on Thursday, means that the Committee of Privileges will investigate whether Mr Johnson misled Parliament - historically a resigning offence.

The probe puts pressure on a Conservative prime minister whose grip on power has been shaken by allegations he flouted the COVID 19 rules he imposed on the country and repeatedly failed to own up to it.

The move was instigated by the opposition Labour Party and passed after the government abandoned attempts to get Conservative politicians to block it.

Mr Johnson's Conservatives have a large majority in Parliament, but many MPs are uneasy about the Prime Minister's behaviour.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said the move aimed to uphold the simple principle that honesty, integrity and telling the truth matter in our politics. It is a British principle guiding members from every political party in this House.

Johnson was not present for the decision on the scandal that has rocked his leadership of the country and the Conservative Party.

He was more than 6,400 kilometres away in India, insisting that he wanted to get on with the job of leading the country.

Last week, Johnson was fined 50 pounds $66 by the police for attending his own birthday party in his office in June 2020, when people in Britain were banned from meeting friends and family, or even visiting dying relatives.

Mr Johnson is the first British prime minister to have broken the law while he is in office.

He has apologised but denied breaking the rules.

Johnson's shifting defence — initially saying there were no illegal gatherings, then claiming that the birthday event did not occur to me that the birthday party was a party — has drawn criticism and outrage from opponents who have called for him to quit.

The truth is simple and it's this: He lied to avoid getting caught, and once he got caught lied again, Scottish National Party MP Ian Blackford said in the House of CommonsHouse of Commons.

MPs are usually forbidden from accusing one another of lying, but Mr Blackford was not reprimanded by the Speaker.

A growing number of Conservatives are uncomfortable about defending a leader who broke rules he imposed on the country.

A few people have said openly for Mr Johnson to go, and the number is rising.

Others are waiting to see if public anger translates into Conservative losses at local elections on May 5.

Part of us withers each time. Another Conservative MP, Steve Baker, who until now was a prominent supporter, said that Johnson should be long gone for violating the letter and spirit of the rules.

He said that he'll certainly vote for this motion.

The Committee on Privileges won't start until the twin police and civil-service investigations into party-gate have concluded.