A significant majority of Brits think Boris Johnson should resign if he is issued with more Partygate fines, new polling suggests.
The prime minister was forced to pay a £50 penalty this week after the Metropolitan Police concluded he had broken his own lockdown rules.
Johnson was hit with a fixed-penalty notice over a birthday gathering in the cabinet room on 19 June 2020. Rishi Sunak and Johnson’s wife, Carrie, were fined one the bash too.
The prime minister is believed to have been involved in at least five of the other 11 events being investigated by the Met – and Downing Street is reportedly braced for him to have several more fines imposed.
Public don’t back Boris
If he is fined again, 63 per cent of the public believe he should step down, a YouGov poll for The Times found – including 36 per cent of those who voted Tory at the 2019 election.
Just 56 per cent of Brits think Johnson should resign over his existing fine, including just 27 per cent of Tory voters.
And 55 per cent believe Sunak should resign, suggesting the chancellor’s efforts to distance himself from the scandal have failed.
It comes as Johnson will face MPs to “set the record straight” after being fined over the scandal as Tory unrest continues to build.
MPs will return to Westminster on Tuesday and Johnson promised to set out his position.
After facing accusations of hypocrisy for not following the rules and allegations of lying to MPs, Johnson told a press conference in Kent: “You are going to have to wait until I come to Parliament when of course I will set the record straight in any way that I can.”
After initial shows of support from Tory MPs and ministers, dissenting voices are now emerging.
Lord Wolfson quit as a justice minister, saying that he had come to the “inevitable conclusion that there was repeated rule-breaking, and breaches of the criminal law, in Downing Street”.
The peer concluded he had no option but to resign considering “my ministerial and professional obligations to support and uphold the rule of law”.
Conservative former cabinet minister Karen Bradley suggested Johnson should quit.
The Staffordshire Moorlands MP said: “My constituents know that I have been clear that those that make the rules must not break them, whether intentionally or otherwise. The public are right to expect the highest standards of behaviour from their leaders.”
She said “law breaking in Downing Street is unforgivable” but the war in Ukraine meant there was a need to “act responsibly so as to not make the situation worse”.
“But I do wish to make it clear that if I had been a minister found to have broken the laws that I passed, I would be tendering my resignation now.”