Partygate: Cabinet minister compares Boris Johnson's law-breaking to parking fine
"I saw that there was a parking notice that Tony Blair had once"
Cabinet Minister Brandon Lewis has suggested Boris Johnson’s fine for breaking Covid laws is no different to ministers receiving parking tickets.
Asked by Kay Burley if a "lawmaker can ever be a lawbreaker", the Northern Ireland secretary told Sky News: "Yes...we've had prime ministers in the past have penalty notices from what I can see...I saw that there was a parking notice that Tony Blair had once."
Lewis made the comparison ahead of the prime minister's first appearance in parliament after being handed a fixed penalty notice by police last week.
The Prime Minister will today give a statement to the Commons at around 3.30PM, when the House reconvenes after an 18-day recess.
It will be the first time he has addressed MPs since paying the £50 fixed penalty notice issued by the Metropolitan police.
Johnson is expected to apologise for breaking Covid legislation by attending a birthday party in 10 Downing Street, but will say that he did not realise he had broken the law.
Later on Tuesday evening, he will address a rare meeting of the full Conservative parliamentary party - where he will be hoping to smooth over tensions with rebels looking to see off his resignation.
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Angela Rayner has said the Prime Minister had "demeaned his office" having "deliberately misled the British people at every turn".
She said: "While the British public was making huge sacrifices, Boris Johnson was breaking the law.
“If the latest reports are true, it would mean that not only did the Prime Minister attend parties, but he had a hand in instigating at least one of them.
“The Prime Minister has demeaned his office. The British people deserve better."
Asked whether Boris Johnson accepts that he broke the rules, Brandon Lewis told Sky News: "In the sense that he has paid a fine that the police have decided to issue because the rules were broken.
"But that doesn't mean that anything he said to Parliament was inaccurate at the time. What he said to Parliament he believed to be true at the time."
— Kay Burley (@KayBurley) April 19, 2022
The Tory frontbench have so far stood united in defence of Johnson and Sunak - arguing the deepening crisis enveloping Ukraine meant the pair had their full support.
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