Davey: Recall parliament after PM & Chancellor fined for partygate

Boris Johnson was enjoying a boost among Conservatives this week, until today, after his snap visit to Ukraine. No matter that he looked out of place in a suit and tie alongside President Zelensky and the escort in fatigues. The Conservatives like a good war and a leader that shows resolve in a time of crisis. But Johnson looked like he was going to a party not walking in a war zone.

Rishi Sunak on the other hand, has had a lousy week. The row over his green card and his wife’s non dom tax status has failed to die down. As a tax hiking chancellor, he is getting the flack for a system that is to his advantage while he has given many low income families a choice between food, fuel and warmth. There are press briefings that he will step down and leave politics for California.

Partygate now seems a minor issue and that is the emerging defence by Conservatives this afternoon who are arguing the prime minister should not be deposed and must not resign because of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Sir Roger Gale MP, a long time critic of Boris Johnson, told BBC R4 PM this evening now is the time.

That is not the view of opposition parties. Ed Davey has called for parliament to be recalled to discuss the crisis that is engulfing the a government that is already engulfed by its own sleaze and disregard for those having to choose between fuel and the food bank.

Partygate fines: Recall Parliament for vote of no confidence

The Liberal Democrats are calling for Parliament to be recalled immediately so MPs can hold a vote of no confidence in Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, following the revelation that both he and Rishi Sunak are to be fined over lockdown-breaking parties at Number 10. Responding to the news, Ed Davey said:

The country cannot have criminals and liars leading our Government, especially at a time of national and international crisis.

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak took the country’s sacrifices for granted, while they broke the law to party in Downing Street. They are not fit to hold office. If they had a shred of decency, they would resign.

Parliament should be recalled immediately so that MPs can hold a vote of no confidence. Conservative MPs must do their patriotic duty and kick these criminals out of Government once and for all.

 

* Andy Boddington is a Lib Dem councillor in Shropshire. He blogs at andybodders.co.uk. He is Thursday editor of Lib Dem Voice.

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25 Comments

  • Partygate now seems a minor issue…

    It always was. When Johnson’s birthday party was first reported, the day after it happened, no one seemed to bat an eyelid.

    ‘Rishi Sunak settles in as Downing St’s Captain Sensible’ [20th. June 2020]:
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/rishi-sunak-settles-in-as-downing-sts-captain-sensible-t7xr2689g

    Boris Johnson celebrated his 56th birthday yesterday with a small gathering in the cabinet room. Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, and a group of aides sang him Happy Birthday before they tucked into a Union Jack cake.

  • The leader of the Scottish Conservatives, one Douglas Ross (a football referee) who submitted a letter of No Confidence to the Chairman of the 1922 Committee,hass now come out with the preposterous notion it is imperative to retain Johnson in post in order to defend Ukraine. He should check his decision with VAR.

    All I can say is thank goodness Johnson wasn’t in Downing Street in 1940.

  • George Thomas 12th Apr '22 - 6:37pm

    There was a complete lack of understanding of and/or caring for the sacrifice people were making and the responsibility of being a leader. I’m not sure those qualities are the ones Douglas Ross think Ukraine needs or not but they’re not ones the UK needs.

  • Nonconformistradical 12th Apr '22 - 7:11pm

    “All I can say is thank goodness Johnson wasn’t in Downing Street in 1940.”

    I was thinking about that too – not that I was around at the time. But I can’t help thinking that if Chamberlain ‘sacked’ then, the situation is now not that different, particularly with the incompetent, narcisstic and totally untrustworthy individual currently at the helm.

  • Barry Lofty 12th Apr '22 - 7:42pm

    This Prime Minister has diminished the high office he holds on numerous occasions and managed to escape almost unscathed, will he do so yet again??

  • @ Nonconformistradical “particularly with the incompetent, narcisstic and totally untrustworthy individual currently at the helm”.

    To be fair (see David Dutton’s biography), Neville Chamberlain was a bit better than that….. and he did buy time to rearm the country after Baldwin’s government had cut it. There is no such remedial addition you could make to your description of Johnson.

  • I have no sympathy for Johnson but I am a bit concerned about Ed Davey’s understanding of a couple of issues. One is that Parliament cannot bring a no confidence vote in a Prime Minister, only in the Government. Secondly, I received an email from him saying “Boris Johnson is a criminal”. This shows a lack of appreciation of the difference between civil and criminal law as breaking Covid rules was not a criminal offence. A Covid fine is similar to a parking fine.

  • Nick Collins 12th Apr '22 - 8:10pm

    Poor Boris. He did not realise that those events were parties because they were nowhere near as much fun as the ones he attended as a member of the Bullingdon Club.

  • Using Ukraine as an excuse stinks. We are not at war. Neither Hungary nor France cancelled their elections that could have/could result in a change of leader.
    But yes, you do have to wonder what it would take for him to resign. And at how something always does seem to turn up to save his skin whenever he looks to be in the mire.

  • Chris Moore 12th Apr '22 - 9:42pm

    Yes, Marco, calling Boris a criminal is absurd as well as false.

    Ed needs to be a bit more measured.

  • I’ve just emailed my 3 Tory MSPs telling them how disgusted I am about this. I would urge you all to do the same with your MP/MSP/AM etc. It doesn’t need to be a long letter – a paragraph is enough, and you can do it easily at http://www.writetothem.com.
    I would suggest, don’t say you’re a LibDem – just be a voter.
    If you think it doesn’t make any difference, I think you’re wrong. The one thing politicians truly sit up and tale notice of is when their constituents are annoyed with them. Apart from anything else, every time you see them on TV defending him at least you’ll know you’ve had your say.

  • Barry Lofty 13th Apr '22 - 9:37am

    Many of the actions carried out by Boris Johnson and his government whilst in office have been highly questionable and it is to be hoped that decent minded people from all political persuasions would agree on what is needed to restore the integrity of the governance of our country.

  • Perhaps BJ and RS will not resign and let the voters show their disgust in the May elections. Conservative candidates should be worried. In Sutton, they are standing as “Local Conservatives”! Presumably they are trying to distance themselves from Downing Street behaviour.

  • It is arguable that the PM is not a criminal and merely a lawbreaker. On the other hand serious fraud deserves more than a fixed penalty fine. In spite of many opportunities to do so, nobody has chosen to mount a prosecution against Johnson.

  • Jason Connor 13th Apr '22 - 11:22am

    I think that language aimed at Mr Johnson as a criminal is highly inappropriate in the same way calling tory politicians scum is. It leads to hatred, abuse and physical attacks on people in public service. He has been fined in the same way others have for breaking rules and an act of revenge in itself it not going to bring back loved ones, family members lost due to Covid. I also find the smearing of Mr Sunak’s wife quite distasteful.

  • @Jason Connor – it is not a smear if it is a) true and b) in the public interest to disclose it. You may disagree with b), but most voters would agree that it is important to know that the Chancellor’s wife, who is fabulously rich and clearly lives in the UK, has non-dom status, which is a way of avoiding tax in the UK.

  • I am reluctant to disagree with Alistair Carmichael M.P., but I’m afraid he is incorrect to say that when the Second World War started Parliament removed Neville Chamberlain.

    Chamberlain served as PM for over nine months after the start of the war and indeed was not defeated in the Norway vote in May, 1940. He decided to resign only after Attlee and the Labour Party refused to join the Coalition government.

  • Seems to me that there may well be Prima Facie evidence that Downing Street need to answer in respect of a possible Conspiracy to Pervert The Course of Justice, all the denials for example when they appear to have known what had happened.
    Could be that this is in the Sue Gray report and being considered by the Police and CPS now.
    This whole thing could well get more complicated, commonsense would suggest the PM should stop digging even bigger holes for himself and others and make a clean break now. That would be the best way to, as they put it, “Move On”!

  • @Mary Reid – I suggest it is in the public interest to know whether Johnson et al have received the same level of fines as those young people caught holding parties during lockdown. From the reports, I get the impression Johnson et al have been fined £60 each and not £10,000 each.

  • @Roland. Agreed. Of course, he could be handed several more fines as they are still investigating other ‘parties’ which he attended.

  • Chris Moore 13th Apr '22 - 2:33pm

    After David Amess was shot, there were calls to tone down language and personal attacks from all sides.

    All immediately forgotten on all sides.

  • Jason Connor 13th Apr '22 - 3:40pm

    I really don’t think many council tenants like myself are that bothered by Mr Sunak’s wife and her tax status. I stand by my comments and the tone of some of the reports that it amounts to personal smearing. More worrying is the use of language which promotes hatred or hate speech and personal attacks on others whatever party they represent. There are far more important issues I talk to neighbours about such as the cost of living increase and inflation, NHS, knife and violent crime, gender based violence, health and of course Ukraine.

  • @Marco

    Breaking a Covid regulation is a criminal not a civil offence. Receiving a FPN means that the police think they have reasonable grounds for concluding that you have committed a criminal offence. It isn’t a criminal conviction nor is paying the fine but, if you don’t pay the fine, you risk a criminal prosecution and conviction if you lose the court case.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 13th Apr '22 - 4:14pm

    I think the knowledge of this, fines, tax status, etc, leaves us all angry and rightly calling for action. One might be a change to rules, on behaviour, law transgression, domicliled machinations, or whatever is a solution to an obvious, “one rule for them another for us!”

    We need greater equality and humanity. My anger at Sunak is that he feels twenty pounds a week not something the pooreset deserve, but his wife and himself are deserving of special tax arrangements, visa cards etc. It is a disgrace. If the poorest had “never had it so good,” knowing it is totally so, for the richest, might not anger as much. But this govt and most in recent years, do nothing for those at the bottom.

    This said, I too think the language of our party leader on Johnson needs to be toned down. A measured approach is rare in politics. Personal attacks on Johnson go too far. A clown, yes, very much so, but describing him as a criminal, not really helpful to our discourse.

  • Barry Lofty 13th Apr '22 - 5:02pm

    I am sorry but until the terrible war in Ukraine happened the Covid pandemic was being described as one of the worst events to hit the world since the second world war and many of the decisions taken by this government during this on going nightmare should not be forgotten or forgiven whatever people wish to call Boris Johnson’s actions.

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