Boris Johnson has escaped new questions about the future of his leadership after being fined by police for violating Covid laws as a former minister suggested he reconsider his position.
After a third Tory MP went public with his concerns, the prime minister stopped questions about whether he had lost his moral authority to lead the country and said he would comment further next week.
Repeatedly pressured on what action would be taken against those who organized parties on Downing Street in violation of strict blocking rules or whether he could face additional fines, Johnson said people would have to wait until the House of Commons returned from your Easter vacation to hear his look.
“I said a lot about it, I think it was Tuesday,” the prime minister told reporters at a news conference in Fleet, Kent, where he announced plans to send most refugees traveling across the English Channel in small boats to Rwanda for processing.
“I will say more when I update the parliament, as you can imagine, next week. You will probably have to wait until then to say more about it. “
A second tranche of fixed-penalty notices was issued by the Metropolitan Police in Operation Hillman on Tuesday, with Johnson, his wife Carrie and Chancellor Rishi Sunak having to pay £ 50 each to attend an illegal celebration of the prime minister’s birthday.
Johnson’s allies downplayed the seriousness of the breakthrough, saying he was present for only nine minutes and that it was not a planned event.
However, Johnson has been debating whether he will resign if he is fined again by Scotland Yard.
“I redirect you to what I said earlier, I’m afraid it won’t surprise you much,” the prime minister told the Guardian. “I said a lot about it earlier in the week. I think I have to wait until Parliament returns to fully update Parliament. “
Johnson is likely to face a number of questions when he makes a statement to the House of Commons next week, including speculation that he may have misled parliament by assuring lawmakers on December 1 that “all guidelines have been fully followed in №10”.
The date of full publication of Sue Gray’s report also remains unclear, as Met’s ongoing investigation prevents a senior government official in charge of Partygate’s investigation from publishing details of dozens of interviews and evidence gathered by her team.
So far, only a small number of Tory MPs have publicly expressed concerns about the fines.
Karen Bradley, the former secretary of Northern Ireland, was the last to put pressure on Johnson.
Speaking to her local news website StokeonTrentLive, she said: “My constituents know that it was clear to me that those who make the rules must not break them, intentionally or otherwise. The public has a right to expect the highest standards of conduct from its leaders.
“I am proud of the British values of democracy, personal freedom, mutual respect, tolerance and the rule of law, and I have had the privilege of promoting these values around the world as an MP and during my time as a government minister. But we will lose the right to promote these values if we do not uphold them ourselves. “
She added: “While breaking the Downing Street law is unforgivable, I am well aware that Europe is in a precarious situation and that we must all act responsibly so as not to aggravate the situation.
“I will spend the next few days consulting with my constituents and deciding what to do after hearing them. But I want to make it clear that if I had been a minister who was found to have broken the laws I passed, I would have resigned now.
Bradley follows Conservative MPs Nigel Mills and Craig Whitaker in criticizing Johnson for violating Covid’s rules, as well as Justice Minister David Wolfson, who left on Wednesday night.
Interior Minister Priti Patel, who was much more muted in her defense of the prime minister, given that her role covers law and order, made her first public comments since the fines were issued.
During a trip to Rwanda, she said she would not “give an ongoing comment as an investigation is under way”, but that Johnson had “made a very thorough and complete apology and should be respected for that”.