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Boris Johnson is facing mounting pressure to resign from devastated families who lost loved ones during the Covid lockdown after police fined the PM for attending an illegal Partygate event.
Today Mr Johnson became the first serving Prime Minister in history to be penalised for law-breaking as No10 confirmed he will receive a fixed-penalty notice (FPN) for attending a Cabinet room birthday party arranged by his wife.
Mr Johnson, Carrie and Chancellor Rishi Sunak – who all attended the event – are among a tranche of 30 more FPNs notices dished out by Scotland Yard this afternoon to people who broke lockdown rules.
They have been sanctioned by Operation Hillman for breaking the law at illicit events that took place while millions of ordinary Britons were showing self-sacrifice and obeying restrictive Covid rules for the good of the country.
Now, Mr Johnson is facing fresh demands from families across Britain to resign after making political and criminal history.
Leshie Chandrapala, 42, tragically lost her father Ranjith to Covid after he tested positive for the deadly virus on April 24 2020.
Ranjith was a key worker and drove the number 92 London bus at the start of the pandemic – but after contracting Covid he became unwell very quickly and was taken by ambulance to Ealing Hospital in West London.
His condition quickly deteriorated and Ranjith was taken to intensive care where he was placed on a ventilator to help him breathe.
Doctors realised he was deteriorating incredibly quickly Ms Chandrapala and her family were given the option to say their final goodbyes on a 20 minute Facetime call, as Ranjith lay in a coma.
The 64-year-old tragically passed away in May 2020 and Ms Chandrapala has now called for Mr Johnson to ‘do the right thing’ and resign because the ‘nation is still grieving the loss of their loved ones during the pandemic’.
Leshie Chandrapala, 42, tragically lost her father Ranjith to Covid after he tested positive for the deadly virus on April 24 2020
Ranjith was a key worker and drove the number 92 London bus at the start of the pandemic – but after contracting Covid he became unwell very quickly and was taken by ambulance to Ealing Hospital in West London
The 64-year-old tragically passed away in May 2020 and Ms Chandrapala has now called for Mr Johnson to ‘do the right thing’ and resign because the ‘nation is still grieving the loss of their loved ones during the pandemic’
The Metropolitan Police did not disclose if Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured) was among those to be sanctioned
Ms Chandrapala told MailOnline: ‘When we were grieving, Number 10 were partying. These are our leaders, they are degrading our democracy. Their creativity with their lies is shocking. You lead by example but this is most certainly not the case with our PM.
‘Boris partied whilst my father was dying alone in a hospital ward. It’s disgraceful. It is time for him and Rishi Sunak to resign. This on top of the latest tax scandal is simply shocking. Enough is enough. He’s not fit to govern this country.’
Recalling the loss of her father, Ms Chandrapala said the trauma of losing her father in lockdown ‘still lives with her’.
She added: ‘Once he contracted the virus, he very quickly became unwell. He was taken to hospital and straight away admitted to a Covid ward because he wasn’t getting enough oxygen and was coughing constantly.
‘As his condition worsened, he was transferred to an ICU in Ealing hospital and was ventilated overnight. Doctors knew he wasn’t going to make it and we were contacted by medics.
‘They called us and said ‘Would you like to Facetime him’. He was in a coma. It was like someone putting a gun to your head – I didn’t know what to say at the time – I was in shock. It was a traumatic time that still lives with me. I now just want justice.’
Lindsay Jackson, who is part of the Covid Bereaved Families for Justice group, has also called for the PM to resign after she tragically lost her dementia-stricken mother to coronavirus in April 2020.
Ms Chandrapala told MailOnline: ‘When we were grieving, Number 10 were partying. These are our leaders, they are degrading our democracy. Their creativity with their lies is shocking. You lead by example but this is most certainly not the case with our PM
Mr Johnson, Carrie and Chancellor Rishi Sunak – who all attended the event – are among a tranche of 30 more FPNs notices dished out by Scotland Yard this afternoon to people who broke lockdown rules. Pictured: The PM and his wife, Carrie
She followed the lockdown rules set out by Number 10 and ‘didn’t see her mother for the last month of her life’ and told Sky News she wishes she had the ‘temerity to break the rules’ at that time so she could have seen her mum.
She has now called for the PM and Rishi Sunak to ‘summon up an ounce of moral fibre and realise that his time is up’.
Ms Jackson said: ‘They should resign, they’re not ordinary citizens. Maybe paying the fine is what ordinary citizens should have done and then moved on with their lives but these aren’t ordinary citizens – these are the two most senior members of Her majesty’s government.
‘This is nonsense, to be breaking the very rules that they made and the rest of us followed assiduously is beyond ridiculous. It’s disgraceful. it’s disgraceful in particular that Boris Johnson lied to Parliament, lied to the British people for all those months.
Lindsay Jackson (pictured), who is part of the Covid Bereaved Families for Justice group, has also called for the PM to resign after she tragically lost her dementia-stricken mother to coronavirus in April 2020
Downing Street’s pandemic parties
May 15, 2020: THE GARDEN PARTY
A leaked photo showed Boris and Carrie Johnson with 17 senior Downing Street staff, sitting around cheese and wine. This took place during the first Covid lockdown at a time when only two people from different households could mix outdoors, socially distanced
May 20, 2020: BYOB BASH
A bombshell email from Mr Johnson’s principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, invited more than 100 staff to No10’s lavish gardens on May 20 to ‘make the most of the lovely weather’. He told guests to bring their own alcohol
JUNE 19 2020: ‘AMBUSHED BY CAKE’ 56th BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR BORIS
Downing Street has admitted staff ‘gathered briefly’ in the Cabinet Room in what was reportedly a surprise get-together for Mr Johnson organised by his now wife Carrie. Rishi Sunak has admitted he ‘popped in’ on his way to a meeting elsewhere in Downing Street.
Lulu Lytle, the interior designer behind lavish renovations of the Downing Street flat, briefly attended while undertaking work there.
It was after this gathering that Tory MP Conor Burns claimed Mr Johnson had been ‘ambushed by a cake’.
No 10 denied a report that, later the same evening, family and friends were hosted upstairs to celebrate the occasion.
November 13, 2020: LEE CAIN’S LEAVING DO
The PM allegedly made a leaving speech for his director of communications Lee Cain with a number of people gathered. The party is believed to have carried on upstairs that evening after Dominic Cummings unceremoniously walked out of Downing Street carrying a cardboard box.
November 27, 2020: CLEO WATSON’S LEAVING DO
Mr Johnson reportedly gives a speech at a packed leaving do for a ‘senior aide’. ’40 or 50 people’ were present. The aide was named as one newspaper as Cleo Watson, Dominic Cummings’ protégé.
December 15, 2020: CHRISTMAS QUIZ
Pictures obtained by the Sunday Mirror show Mr Johnson on a TV screen flanked by colleagues, one draped in tinsel and another wearing a Santa hat, in the No10 library. A source claimed many staff were huddled by computers in their Downing Street offices, conferring on questions and drinking alcohol while the quiz was taking place. The Mirror said a message sent by No10’s head of HR on the night of the quiz advised that those who had stayed behind to take part ‘go out the back’ when they left. The paper also unearthed the team names used that night, including ‘Professor Quiz Whitty’, ‘Rebels without a Claus’, and ‘Hands, Face, First Place’.
December 17, 2020: Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, charged with probing Partygate, hosted a party after sending an email out to around 15 people in his Private Office titled ‘Christmas Quiz’.
December 18, 2020: ANOTHER CHRISTMAS PARTY Downing Street staffers allegedly hold their own festive party, with the PM not in attendance. Group size is also given as 40 to 50.
April 16, 2021: JAMES SLACK’S LEAVING DO
Advisers and civil servants drank alcohol and danced in No10’s basement and gardens to mark the departure of Boris Johnson’s press chief James Slack and one of the Prime Minister’s personal photographers. Witnesses claimed 30 people attended the two gatherings, which were held in different parts of the Downing Street complex before combining in the garden, on the night before Prince Philip’s funeral.
May 26, 2021: A second, formal leaving event is held for James Slack inside No 10. More than a dozen allegedly attended.
The police have shown no favour and have fined him. What is his response? An apology. Little boys get away with apologising like that. he’s 56 years old.
‘He is the PM of this country. He can’t just apologise for breaking his own rules and apologise as if nothing has happened. It’s beyond ridiculous, he needs to go. He needs to summon up an ounce of moral fibre and realise that his time is up. This country deserves better, far better.’
Recalling the devastating loss of her mother, Ms Jackson said she now feels ‘she let her mother down’.
She added: ‘My mum had dementia and by December 2019 we couldn’t manage at home anymore. Her dementia had deteriorated such that we need 24/7 care and I found a lovely place for my mum to live, with very caring people. She moved in there just before Christmas 2019 and she caught Covid at the start of April just a few months later, she died a week after that.
‘I wasn’t able to see my mum for the last month of her life, I wasn’t able to be with her when she had Covid and when she died. I wasn’t able to pay my respects to her body – that wasn’t permitted.
‘She wasn’t able to her own clothes, she was sealed in a bag. There were seven of us at her funeral, I wasn’t able to hug my own brother at the end of the funeral, we just went our own ways because we followed the rules and the most personally damaging aspect of what Johnson had done is that I now feel I let my mum down.
I should have had the temerity to break the rules and be there for my mum when she needed me.’
This comes as MP for Manchester Gorton Afzal Khan, who lost his lost his mother, father-in-law, and mother-in-law to coronavirus, said: ‘Tens of thousands of people have lost their loved ones following the rules that this government set up. They repeatedly lied in the House of Commons about following those rules. It’s always difficult to lose loved ones, but the rules affected the bereavement process.
‘We all followed the rules. I sat outside the hospital while my mother was dying while they were partying. I couldn’t even hold her hand. It’s unacceptable. They should resign.’
North Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen, who handed in a letter of no-confidence in the PM earlier this year, said: ‘I am pleased that the police have investigated this matter thoroughly, but very disappointed that so many in number 10 including the PM were found to have breached the rules they set for the rest of us.
‘This is not the time to remove the PM given the international situation, but this is not the end of this matter.’
His comments were echoed by Johnson critic Sir Roger Gale, who said: ‘I am not prepared to give Vladimir Putin the comfort of thinking that we are about to unseat the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and destabilise the coalition against Putin.
‘So any reaction to this is going to have to wait until we have dealt with the main crisis which is Ukraine and the Donbas.’
A former minister told MailOnline that Mr Johnson’s position was ‘far better’ than six or eight weeks ago and he was showing his strengths by managing the threat of a ‘third world war’.
The Metropolitan Police did not disclose if Boris Johnson was among those to be sanctioned with a £50 fine. Downing Street initially indicated that he was not.
But this afternoon a No10 spokeswoman said: ‘The Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have today received notification that the Metropolitan police intend to issue them with fixed penalty notices. ‘
Downing Street later confirmed that the fine was in relation to the PM’s birthday party on June 19, 2020 – at which one ally previously said he’d been ‘ambushed by a cake’.
The statement did not mention Carrie Johnson. But her spokeswoman later said she had been fined and had already accepted and paid it. ‘Whilst she believed that she was acting in accordance with the rules at the time, Mrs Johnson accepts the Metropolitan Police’s findings and apologises unreservedly.’
Questions will also be raised over his honesty towards MPs. Last year he told the Commons that ‘all guidance was followed completely in No 10’. Mr Sunak, last December, also told MPs he did not attend any parties.
The Prime Minister, who is at his Chequers country retreat, has yet to publicly acknowledge that the fines being issued by the police are evidence of law-breaking by senior figures in his Government and Whitehall.
Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats demanded Parliament be recalled from its Easter recess to allow MPs to grill the Prime Minister.
Keir Starmer tonight said: ‘The British public made the most unimaginable, heart-wrenching sacrifices, and many were overcome by guilt. Guilt at not seeing elderly relatives, not going to funerals or weddings, or even seeing the birth of their own children.
‘But the guilty men are the Prime Minister and the Chancellor. They’ve dishonoured all of that sacrifice, they’ve dishonoured their office.
‘This is the first time in the history of our country that a Prime Minister has been found to be in breach of the law, and then he lied repeatedly to the public about it.
‘Britain deserves better, they have to go.’
But even Douglass Ross, the Scottish Tory leader who was among the first to call for Mr Johnson to resign earlier this year, stepped back from the edge.
He said: ‘The public are rightly furious at what happened in Downing Street during the pandemic. I understand why they are angry and share their fury. The behaviour was unacceptable. The Prime Minister now needs to respond to these fines being issued.
‘However, as I’ve made very clear, in the middle of war in Europe, when Vladimir Putin is committing war crimes and the UK is Ukraine’s biggest ally, as President Zelensky said at the weekend, it wouldn’t be right to remove the Prime Minister at this time.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the announcement of at least 30 more fines relating to the partygate saga has ‘blown the Prime Minister’s defence out of the water’.
Downing Street staff allegedly boozed ‘excessively’ at two leaving parties the night before the Queen was forced to grieve alone her own at the Duke of Edinburgh’s Covid-secure funeral last year
‘It would destabilise the UK Government when we need to be united in the face of Russian aggression and the murdering of innocent Ukrainians.’
One northern Tory MP who has been heavily critical of Mr Johnson suggested there will not be a move against him until next month.
‘I predict nothing will happen until results of local elections are in and the verdict of the electorate is seen, one way or the other,’ they told MailOnline.
The MP said even Mr Sunak resigning might not be enough to force the PM out. ‘I think that’s a bit priced in at the moment, so not as spectacular as it may have been.’
And the former minister alleged ‘damaged’ Mr Sunak would just end up ‘spending more time with his money’ if he decided to quit thinking the Tory Party would respect his ‘principle’.
They added: ‘Rishi could just walk but if he does it is not because of the fine, it is because there is a lot more to come out on the tax front… He might think the Tory Party would hold him in high regard for his principles but it would backfire spectacularly. Nobody would forgive him.’
The MP added: ‘He’d better make really sure he’s got an alternative career plan, or he will be able to spend more time with his money.’
Scotland Yard said it had referred a further 30 FPNs on top of the 20 it had already revealed to the ACRO Criminal Records Office ‘for breaches of Covid-19 regulations’ in 2020 and 2021.