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UK’s Johnson says will remain PM despite partygate scandal

British PM Boris Johnson gestures as he speaks during a joint press briefing with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, April 22, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that he will remain in his official post despite mounting pressure to resign over the partygate scandal.

Speaking at a press conference in New Delhi on Friday, the British PM dismissed the partygate revelations as a trivial issue and said the British public wanted to move on from it and “focus on the issues on which we were elected.”

Asked during the conference whether he would still serve as the UK Prime Minister in October, Johnson replied “yes.”

The remarks comes on the heels of the British parliament’s decision yesterday to refer Johnson to the parliament’s privileges committee for an investigation into whether he misled the MPs over parties held in Downing Street and Whitehall in 2020, when the country was under strict COVID-19 restrictions.

Johnson described the British lawmakers’ decision to put him under investigation as a “kick of the cat.”

“We had a pretty good kick of the cat yesterday... we did all that,” he said, referring to the unanimous voting through a motion in the House of Commons after a day-long debate that saw some of Johnson’s own MPs call for his resignation.

The motion was passed without any opposition after the government abandoned an earlier attempt to delay any decision on whether or not to hold the investigation.

Meanwhile, speaking to the BBC’s Today program, Chair of the Defense Committee Tobias Ellwood said Conservative MPs were “deeply troubled” and warned that the ongoing row over lockdown parties was causing “long-term damage to the party’s brand.”

He accused Johnson’s cabinet of lacking “discipline, focus and leadership” and predicted the PM would face a vote of no confidence, which could force him out of office.

Johnson apologized to the parliament on Wednesday after becoming the first British leader to be fined for breaking the law by attending parties while his own administration had enforced strict pandemic lockdowns, including restrictions on gatherings.

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