THE Prime Minister and Chancellor have both paid fines and apologised for attending Boris Johnson’s birthday bash in Downing Street during Covid restrictions.

Mr Johnson said it “did not occur” to him that the gathering in the Cabinet Room on June 19 2020 to mark his 56th birthday was a violation of coronavirus rules, but that he “now humbly accepts” he did breach Covid-19 laws.

Mr Sunak, meanwhile, said: “I deeply regret the frustration and anger caused and I am sorry.”

It means Boris Johnson is the first sitting prime minister in history to have broken the law, despite Downing Street previously saying that he had not broken the rules.

So The Northern Echo has been out and about in Northallerton to get people's views on whether Mr Sunak and Mr Johnson should resign over the partygate fine – and the answers may surprise you.

People in Northallerton collectively called for reduced pressure on the Chancellor and Prime Minister and many in Northallerton believed that people were making “a mountain out of a mole hill” on the subject and collectively disagreed with calls for the pair to resign.

Mr Dodd from Stockton said that people should “try to forget about it” and that there is “more important thing to worry about.”

The Northern Echo: Mr Dobb from StocktonMr Dobb from Stockton

He said: “No I definitely don’t think he should resign, because he’s done good with the injections and that and he’s been helping Ukraine out.

“Why should he go, who are you going to put in his place? You’ve got nobody, absolutely nobody at all.”

Asked how he felt knowing the Prime Minister and Chancellor had broken the law, Mr Dodd said it “doesn’t bother me that they broke the law.”

He added: “A lot of people did it during lockdown when we were all shut down, I mean I did it myself so I can’t talk.

“People just need to try and forget about it, it is over, it has been two years now, it’s ridiculous, there’s more important things to be worrying about than that, just let them get on with it.”

He concluded by saying that Boris Johnson was doing a good job at the moment and “we’ll just have to see in the May elections and then decide.”

Carl Anderson from Thirsk and who owns a market stall in Northallerton called Carls Flowers, Fruit and Veg, said that people needed to focus on bigger problems.

The Northern Echo: Carl Anderson and staff member Charley AshbyCarl Anderson and staff member Charley Ashby

He said that many are “trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill” and the media have a “big vendetta against him.”

He added: “I mean they’ve apologised so I don’t see what more they can do really.

“I don’t think they should resign, we’ve got bigger fish to fry with what’s going on in Ukraine, I mean if people concentrated on all the killings and everything else.

“That’s the worst of the world, this is trivial, and unfortunately the TV are trying to make something more of it than what they should do instead of concentrating on all the killings and trying to stop idiots like Putin.”

Mr Anderson had other issues on his mind, speaking on the roadworks that were being carried out nearby.

He said: “The thing that they should concentrate on round here, Rishi Sunak, is the cost of these roadworks and getting them done.

“They’re just killing the town, they’re absolutely ruining the town for everybody, all the shops are shutting and that’s why you’ve got nine empty shops.”

Mr Richardson from Redcar agreed that the pair shouldn’t resign and stressed that the Prime Minister had only been at the birthday party for “10 minutes.”

He added: “I mean c’mon, let’s give or take a little on this.

“It’s not a heinous crime, they’ve paid the fine, they’ve apologised, move on.”

Speaking on Rishi Sunak, Mr Richardson said the Chancellor had “done a good job”.

He concluded: “In terms of getting on with the job, getting us through the pandemic and managing the economy, he’s done a good job.”


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