Boris Johnson faces grilling from MPs after receiving partygate fine

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Boris Johnson will address MPs in the House of Commons after receiving a fine  (via REUTERS)
Boris Johnson will address MPs in the House of Commons after receiving a fine (via REUTERS)

Boris Johnson will face a grilling from MPs on Tuesday in his first appearance in parliament since he was fined for breaking Covid rules.

The prime minister is expected to defend his conduct amid fresh claims he attended a leaving do for Downing Street communications chief Lee Cain in November 2020.

No 10 denied a report in the Sunday Times alleging Mr Johnson had played a role in organising the event which took place when the UK was in a full national lockdown.

The PM will face Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday after it emerged last week that he had received a fixed penalty notice for attending his “birthday party” in the Cabinet Room of Downing Street on June 19, 2020.

His wife Carrie Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak also received a fine for attending the event which broke Covid rules on indoor social mixing in place at the time.

The Prime Minister offered his “full apology” when he was fined.

In a piece to camera, he said: “The public had a right to expect better”.

Mr Johnson is expected to apologise to MPs in an address to the Commons on Tuesday afternoon but he will defy calls to resign as he sets out a “business as usual” agenda, The Times reported.

He will emphasise the importance of continuing support for Ukraine amid the ongoing war with Russia and tackling the cost-of-living crisis, according to the newspaper.

Later that evening, he will address the entire Conservative parliamentary party where he will urge colleagues to focus on winning the May local elections.

Meanwhile, Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle is expected to decide whether to allow a vote on whether to refer Mr Johnson to the Privileges Committee – which would decide whether he had misled the House when he told MPs that “no rules had been broken” in Downing Street earlier this year.

Elsewhere, the prime minister could face a second fine for allegedly attending a leaving do for former No 10 communications chief Cain on November 13, 2020.

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