Johnson also addressed the key issue directly. Deliberately lying to Parliament is a violation of the ministerial code of conduct which provides for immediate resignation and a parliamentary commission is investigating precisely the premier’s statements to deputies.
In recent months, Johnson has repeatedly denied that there have been parties on Downing Street or that the rules have been violated, answering questions from opposition MPs. Today he said that “when I told Parliament that all the rules had always been respected, I sincerely believed that this was the case”. Now that it is clear that he did not tell the truth, the premier defends himself by saying that he was in good faith – his lies were unintentional.
“Turn the page and work”
The prime minister’s survival strategy is therefore to say that he has “learned his lesson” and, with the Gray report filed, now is the time to turn the page and let him work. “My government and I have to deal with the rising cost of living and energy, the consequences of the war in Ukraine, the aftermath of the pandemic,” he said. Let’s think about the important things. ”Conservative MPs, judging by their silence in Parliament today, seem to agree with Johnson that we need to dismiss the partygate scandal and focus on good governance to win the next election.
According to credible rumors, many who had submitted no-confidence letters withdrew them, and the Labor opposition once again demanded Johnson’s resignation. Leader Keir Starmer said the Gray report reveals “the hubris and arrogance of a government that believes that the rules should be respected by others but not by them.” Given the overwhelming Tory majority, however, Johnson will not be forced to leave.
What do the British think?
It remains to be seen what citizens think. Polls show that the scandal has damaged the reputation of the government and the premier. According to a study by King’s College London (KCL) published on May 25, British citizens are the most likely to believe that the government ignores the rules: 62% do not trust, compared to an average of 44% in other European countries.