UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak to be fined for breaking lockdown laws
British Prime Minister Boris JohnsonChancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Johnson’s wife Carrie are all set to be fined by London’s Metropolitan Police for breaking lockdown rules in the UK in 2020 and 2021.
While it remains unclear how much the parties will be charged, officials confirmed on Tuesday that the three had received notice of police fines in light of an ongoing investigation into illegal parties being held at the Prime Minister’s residence at No. 10 Downing Street. and in Whitehall when the UK was under strict covid-19 containment rules.
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Johnson and his wife as well as Sunak are said to have attended a number of these parties and all three were said to have been at the same gathering for the Prime Minister’s birthday in June 2020.
London’s Metropolitan Police said more than 50 government ministers and officials are set to be fined as a result of the investigation into lockdown breaches. The investigation, which is officially considered Operation Hillman, is described by the media as “party portal.”
A Downing Street spokesman said: ‘The Prime Minister and Chancellor today received notification that the Metropolitan Police intended to issue them Fixed Sanctions Notices.
While the amount of each fine is still unknown, it is also unclear for which particular lockdown offense each individual was fined.
A number of people have called for the Prime Minister’s resignation, including members of his own Conservative government. While many of those Tory MPs have changed course since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, opposing parties continue to question the leadership abilities of Johnson and Sunak.
Keir Starmer, leader of the opposing Labor Party, said Johnson and Sunak “have repeatedly broken the law and lied to the British public” and that “they must both resign”.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also called for Johnson and Sunak to step down, saying: ‘The fundamental values of integrity and decency – essential to the proper functioning of any parliamentary democracy – demand that he go. And he should take his offline chancellor with him.
Since reports of parties being held in government offices during strict Covid shutdowns emerged late last year, Johnson has insisted “guidelines are being followed at all times”, but has quickly changed tone as new events emerged and he faced continued questions about his involvement. He later apologized and said he believed he was “attending a business event”.
Sunak came under mounting pressure after it emerged last week that his wife, Akshata Murthy, had non-domiciled status, meaning she did not have to pay tax on her earnings outside from the United Kingdom. Murthy holds a 0.91% stake in software company Infosys, which is owned by his billionaire father Narayana Murthy. This stake puts his net worth at around £500 million ($652 million).
Recently, it was also revealed that Sunak retained his US green card status for several months after becoming Chancellor of the UK. Green card holders, of course, must declare the United States as their permanent residence and pay US tax on their earnings.
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