Calls from Weston for Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak to resign

Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressing the nation during a briefing on coronavirus. Picture: PA Ima

Weston's Labour and Lib Dem groups have called for the Prime Minister to resign. - Credit: PA

Weston's Labour and Liberal Democrat groups have called for the Prime Minister and Chancellor to resign after being fined for breaking the law during lockdown.

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak received two of 50 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) handed out by the Met Police for illegal gatherings inside Downing Street and Whitehall while the rest of the UK was in lockdown.

Now, senior members of both opposition groups have called for the pair's resignation, insisting residents from Weston and North Somerset obeyed the rules while they did not.

Weston’s Conservative MP, and Government anti-corruption champion, John Penrose has been approached for comment but is yet to reply - believed to be on a family holiday during Easter.

Patrick Keating. Picture: Liberal Democrats

Patrick Keating. Picture: Liberal Democrats - Credit: Archant

Mr Keating, a North Somerset Councillor, said:" At a time of national and international crisis, the country needs leaders that we can trust, that act with integrity and hold themselves accountable to a high standard.

"By breaking lockdown laws while hundreds of families in Weston and the Villages suffered, the Prime Minister and Chancellor have shown they are not fit to lead.

"If our local Tory MP has a sense of decency, he must take a principled stand and join us in calling for the PM and Chancellor to resign."

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The Met Police announced it would continue its investigation into 12 parties alleged to have been held during 2020 and 2021 - leaving the possibility of more FPNs to be issued to Boris Johnson.

North Somerset's Labour leader, Catherine Gibbons echoed Cllr Keating's statement.

Cllr Gibbons said: "People obeyed the rules, my family obeyed the rules, the royal family obeyed the rules – but for Conservative politicians and officials in Downing Street, there were no rules.

"They partied while the rest of us shielded our loved ones, our children missed out on vital education, we cancelled our weddings, had our birthdays alone and buried our nearest and dearest in silence, without service, song or support.

"Now we learn that the Prime Minister himself has been fined, as has the Chancellor.

"Our residents across the district are greatly concerned by the scandals plaguing the Government from ‘cash for honours’ to ‘partygate’ and find it hard to understand this appalling situation.

"We deserve better than this kind of thoughtless arrogance - especially when we are all struggling with the terrible cost of living crisis, rocketing energy costs and the ongoing effects of covid.

"We deserve and need proper leadership that respects us and the law and we do not seem to have that."

Earlier this week, the Mercury asked its Facebook followers if they believed the pair should resign following their FPNs.

More than 100 users commented with opinions split on what the next move from Downing Street should be.

Sal Robinson wrote: "He [has] done wrong but he [is] doing a good job."

While Stan Howlett believes: "Of course he should, as should all of those in the government involved in 'party gate'.

"Hopefully, the party organisers will get the maximum fines, as has happened out there in the real world."

Speaking on Tuesday (April 12), the Prime Minister said he accepted "in all sincerity that people had the right to expect better" from him.