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U.K.’s Johnson defiant as ‘partygate’ report looms

A handout photograph released by the U.K. Parliament shows Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson attending Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons in London on January 26, 2022.

A handout photograph released by the U.K. Parliament shows Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson attending Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons in London on January 26, 2022.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday defended his government’s record, vowing to fight on as he braced for a potentially damning report into lockdown-breaching parties.

The final report from an investigation by senior civil servant Sue Gray has not yet been submitted to Downing Street, the government said.

The dramatic confirmation that London’s Metropolitan Police force has started its own investigation could complicate the release of Ms. Gray’s report, but Opposition insisted on its publication in full.

Mr. Johnson, in a heated session of weekly questions in Parliament, said he could not comment further on the “partygate” revelations pending the investigations.

But he said the government — from its pandemic response to economic recovery, and “bringing the West together” against Russia’s threats to Ukraine — was not going anywhere.

“We’ve taken the tough decisions, we’ve got the big calls right, and we -- and in particular I -- are getting on with the job,” the prime minister said.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Ms. Gray’s report was “fairly imminent”, and the Opposition Labour Party anticipated that Mr. Johnson would give a statement in response later Wednesday or Thursday.

But regardless of its findings, Labour leader Keir Starmer said Mr. Johnson had already “shown nothing but contempt for the decency, honesty and respect that define this country”, and called anew for his resignation.


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Printable version | May 20, 2022 6:38:00 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/uks-johnson-defiant-as-partygate-report-looms/article38330235.ece