Britain's prime minister Boris Johnson will face a crucial House of Commons vote this week on whether he should be referred to Parliament for an investigation over his partygate statements, it was confirmed on Tuesday.
The vote, which was granted for Thursday, is expected to coincide with Johnson's two-day India visit, as he is scheduled to hold events in Ahmedabad on that day.
After a debate on whether Johnson misled MPs when he initially said that no rules were broken, Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle granted a vote by Opposition MPs, who were asked to give a vote on whether or not he misled, as allegations of lock-down-breaching parties within Downing Street escalated into a full-blown partygate scandal.
As Parliament reconvened after Easter recess on Tuesday, Hoyle told Members of Parliament that it was not for him to determine whether or not the Prime Minister has committed a contempt but rather whether there was an arguable case to be examined.
He has not just broken the rules, he has lied to the public and lied to Parliament about it, said Starmer.
The motion, which is yet to be tabled, could ask MPs to decide whether to send Johnson to the Committee of Privileges.
Under parliamentary rules, the UK government ministers are expected to resign for lying to the MPs and correcting the record as soon as possible if they tell Parliament something false.
Johnson made a statement to the Commons insisted that COVID lockdown rules had been followed at No. In the wake of the first partygate allegations, 10 Downing Street was formed.
He was the first British prime minister to be sanctioned for breaking the law last week, when he was fined for attending a birthday event for him in the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street in June 2020, along with his wife Carrie and Indian-origin UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
A fine must be paid within 28 days if a complaint is contested in court, as part of the police force's ongoing partygate investigation.
All three of the three paid up their fines and apologised in the wake of the notices.
While the Opposition parties have demanded Johnson and Sunak resign over fines, the duo's own party colleagues have stood by them with only a handful of them voicing their criticism within the Conservative Party.
A parliamentary vote on the issue is expected to go in Johnson's favour but will be another blow to his leadership ahead of the local council and mayoral elections scheduled for May 5.
He will then move to New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, when the focus will be on India-UK strategic defence and diplomatic and economic partnership.
Johnson will be using his India visit to drive progress in the ongoing Free Trade Agreement negotiations, which was launched earlier this year, according to officials on both sides.