LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has received a questionnaire from London’s Metropolitan Police as part of the investigation into parties in Downing Street during COVID lockdowns, his office said Saturday.
If he is found to have broken his government’s own COVID rules, the embattled prime minister could be fined and will face even more pressure to stand down from fellow lawmakers already furious at his proximity to the “partygate” affair.
A growing number of lawmakers from his own party are calling for his ouster, and even former leaders have lined up to warn him against attempting to cling to power if he is found to have broken rules.
Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith said it would be “very tough” to hang on if the police find that Johnson broke the law, while former Prime Minister John Major accused Johnson and his government of treating the truth as optional and “shredding” the U.K.’s global reputation.
The prime minister’s office confirmed in a statement that he had been contacted by police. It comes with tensions boiling in Ukraine, and U.K. nationals warned to evacuate the country over the possibility of a Russian invasion.
Johnson has denied any wrongdoing, but he is alleged to have been at up to six of the 12 events in his 10 Downing St. office and other government buildings that are being investigated by the police.
He has acknowledged attending a “bring your own booze” party in the No 10 garden in May 2020 during the first lockdown, but insisted he believed it would be a work event.
He also allegedly attended a gathering organised by his wife, Carrie, in the official Downing Street residence, during which ABBA songs were reportedly heard.
The police force has written to about 50 people, including the prime minister and his wife, asking for them to account for their activities on the dates under investigation.
The force said questionnaires must be responded to within seven days. They have the same status as information given in an interview under police caution.