UK’s Johnson cannot answer party questions because of police, minister says

Opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said on Monday Johnson was unfit to lead the country and should quit, while Conservative former Prime Minister Theresa May asked if Johnson had simply ignored the COVID-19 rules or didn’t understand them.

Although there is rising dissent in his own party, in order to trigger a leadership challenge 54 of the 359 Conservative members of parliament must submit letters of no confidence and that figure has not been reached.

After initially saying that no rules were broken, Johnson has repeatedly declined to answer specifics about his own attendance at some of the gatherings.

He later admitted being at one but said he thought it was a work event. On Monday, he repeatedly declined to say if he had been at a gathering at his own apartment above the 10 Downing Street office, citing the police investigation.

Opposition parties have said the police inquiry should not preclude Johnson from answering specific questions, especially in parliament.

“What happened was the Metropolitan Police asked that the full report not be published at the moment, but the idea that that prevents the prime minister from saying whether he was at a party on a particular day is absolute nonsense,” Starmer told BBC TV.

Johnson has committed to publishing any further update from Gray, who said she had been unable to provide a “meaningful report” because of the police investigation, meaning further damaging revelations could still come.

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