The reaction was very mixed depending on where it was coming from. The Labour leader Keir Starmer called for the resignations of Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak, amongst others who were equally infuriated by the breaking of the law by the very people who had overseen the creation of the law around private parties during the lockdown period. Naturally, both Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have declined the request and intend to continue in their roles.
We asked our readers what they thought about the actions of the Prime Minister and the Chancellor and whether they should resign as a result of being fined, here are a collection of their thoughts on the matter:
Ian Lee would like to see both the PM and Chancellor go, “Definitely, he's lied and can't be trusted. His government made the rules he took great delight in breaking.”
“Johnson makes the rules but doesn’t think they apply to him!”
Frequent commentor, Hazel Kennedy added, “I think if we looked at a lot of politicians we’d find things that they do wrong in many aspects of their political life so we’d be throwing one lot out to be replaced by others as far as I can see.” Her comment received a number of responses from readers.
Phil Elsey Cat Man, replied to Hazel saying, “and if you did nothing & left them alone what value does that set?? Be a Prime Minister! You may take the p*** all you like without consequence!!”
Francis Aston questioned the original statement, asking Hazel, “could you provide the list of crimes you find acceptable in a prime minister?” To which Hazel replied, “have I said that any are? I’m acknowledging that there have certainly been wrong doings and these now have been classed as criminal wrong doings. I’ve not got much time for any of them at the moment to be truthful. Personally, I think they feather their own nests in lots of ways and the trouble is that our systems let them do it.”
Karen Kerr says that, “The Labour party and [the] media need to learn that blowing out someone else's candle doesn't make theirs shine brighter. Labour have done nothing but personal attacks on the opposition. They have no policies or ideas to offer.” Just a quick note here, Labour wouldn’t take over if either resigned, another candidate would be put forward by the ruling/governing party.
“Many have resigned for much less over the years but Johnson believes rules do not apply to him.”
Laurence Hinchliffe does not believe they should be allowed to get off so easily, “No, they have caused so much damage to this country. Let them sort the issues out.... Product shortage across so many industries Brexit fiasco, the covid debt, NHS shortages. The list is endless... All they will do like the last 4 times is resign and then appoint another money grabbing Oxford mupet to tell you all the problems were caused by the previous government.... It’s the same political party and the same money laundering back stabbers that came before. Hold them accountable for their messes.”
Tim Cook added that, “He never had any intention of resigning and his party will keep him in place until Liz Truss is ready to relieve him of his duties.”
And some people had an entirely different take, Lester Weatherley responded saying that, “The truth is the government doesn’t run this country the media do. The media are more powerful than any political party and if the media don’t like you don’t like your ways don’t like your policies then they will do what ever they can to ground you.” Which would be an understandable point to make in an instance where the media were responsible for the Prime Minister and the Chancellor both breaking the very laws that they had voted to put into action in government.
“If I wrote a "life-saving" policy in my job, then went against it myself and subsequently lied and lied and lied that I hadn't… I would be sacked.”
A much more sensible take came from Paul Wilmot who noted, “By the way, this is not about parties, it is about lawbreaking and lying to Parliament. Of course they should resign: many have resigned for much less over the years but Johnson believes rules do not apply to him.” Paul’s comments clearly struck a chord with over 80 people showing their agreement with the ‘thumbs up’ emoji, which says alot.
Marion Manterfield added in response to Paul’s comment that, “Johnson makes the rules but doesn’t think they apply to him!”
Another commentor who would like to see the PM vacate his post is Allen Birch, who said, “Of course how could any person with even the smallest sense of honour remain in post after this he seems to be relying on Ukraine to keep him in post, shameful.”
David White noted that, “The main point is not the fact that he broke the rules, the reason he should resign is because he blatantly denied he had done anything wrong and lied time and again to the people. No trust there anymore. The excuse that he didn't know that he was breaking the rules is pathetic and totally unbelievable.”
On the other hand, Sara Marris is more concerned about the alternatives, “I do think he should resign, but who would take over? Sunak we don't want, plus he's in the same situation, which would leave Truss. Is she somebody we want in charge? Her handling of Russia wasn't a good one, I do believe she's slightly worse than Boris and I didn't think that was possible.”
And Michelle Cunningham is worried about the Ukraine crisis first and foremost, “How on earth do people think because of Ukrainian situation he can resign right now this should be addressed when the conflict has been sorted.”
“The Labour party and [the] media need to learn that blowing out someone else's candle doesn't make theirs shine brighter."
Some were very clear about what they thought.
Robert Bennett thinks Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak should both go, “Definately, along with everyone else fined or given a warning. We had to suffer so should they. Creeps and criminals.”
And Fiona Foyer added, “I think that not only they should be sacked but they should also be forced to return all their wages, their pensions and any other "bonus" that they get.”
Sharon Townend added that, “Unfortunately integrity, respect and truth are lacking throughout!!”
Meanwhile, Nevyne Chalhoub laid it out in laymans terms. “Yes: for breaking the law. Yes: for lying to Parliament. And Yes: for lying to us all.”
Finally, Alan David Epton simplified the understanding of the matter, “If I wrote a "life-saving" policy in my job, then went against it myself and subsequently lied and lied and lied that I hadn't… I would be sacked.”