British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on Tuesday, 19 April, apologised for attending an illegal party during the COVID-19 lockdown in the country, even as the Opposition demanded that he quit for the sake of integrity in politics.
However, Johnson said he did not think he had done anything wrong when he attended an office gathering for his birthday in June 2020.
On 12 April, Johnson was fined 50 pounds, thus becoming the first British leader to be fined for breaking the law. Additionally, the police are investigating several other parties in government buildings that Johnson allegedly attended.
"Let me also say not by way of mitigation or excuse, but purely, purely because it explains my previous words in this house, that it did not occur to me then or subsequently, the day gathering in the Cabinet Room, just before the vital meeting on Covid strategy, could amount to a breach of the rules," Bloomberg quoted Johnson as saying in Parliament. "That was my mistake. And I apologise for it, unreservedly."
Meanwhile, a senior lawmaker in Britain's ruling Conservative Party, Mark Harper, called for Johnson's resignation, adding that he did not believe "he is worthy of the great office that he holds," reported Reuters. Harper has also submitted a letter of no confidence in the prime minister.
Johnson To Face Partygate Parliament Vote While in India
On Thursday, 21 April, lawmakers will vote in the House of Commons on whether to refer Johnson to the "committee on standards for misleading the House."
The vote will coincide with Johnson's two-day visit to India on 21 and 22 April.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), this will be Johnson's "maiden visit to India as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom."
Johnson will be in Gujarat on 21 April and will be accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi, where he is slated to hold consultations with PM Narendra Modi on 22 April.
(With inputs from Bloomberg, Reuters, and Hindustan Times.)