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Snap poll indicates 57% believe Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak should resign

Boris Johnson was fined over attending a gathering to mark his 56th birthday at No 10, at which he was ‘ambushed’ with a cake.

A SNAP POLL has indicated that 57% of the British public believe Boris Johnson should resign and British Prime Minister and the same proportion believe Rishi Sunak should resign as Chancellor.

Boris Johnson, his wife Carrie Symonds and Sunak apologised yesterday and confirmed they had paid fines imposed by the Metropolitan Police over a party held on 19 June 2020 to mark Johnson’s 56th birthday.

Johnson said it “did not occur” to him that the gathering might be breaching Covid rules, while Rishi Sunak said he understood that “for figures in public office, the rules must be applied stringently in order to maintain public confidence”.

Although both politicians said they now accepted the rules had been broken, neither appear to be considering their positions, and said they wanted to get on with the job.

A snap YouGov poll found that 30% of people believed Johnson should remain in the role, and 29% believe Sunak remain in the role.

When broken down based on political leanings, 75% of Remain voters said Johnson should resign, while 53% of Leave voters said he should remain in the role.

This breakdown was mirrored in relation to Sunak: 71% of Remainers said he should resign, and 47% of Leave voters said he should remain.

survey-result (2) Poll results on Boris Johnson by region. YouGov YouGov

survey-result (1) Poll results on Rishi Sunak by political leaning. YouGov YouGov

Cabinet ministers tweeted in support of Boris Johnson, praising his leadership during Covid and Brexit and also pointing to the war in Ukraine.

Even Johnson’s critics appeared to accept that now was not the right time for a leadership contest, due to the war in Ukraine, upcoming local elections at the start of May, and no obvious successor.

Sunak was seen as a possible candidate, but has also been embroiled in the partygate scandal, as well as coming under pressure over his wealthy wife’s tax status.

However, Johnson did not rule out the prospect he could be fined again for further events; he is reported to have attended six of the 12 under investigation.

Speaking to reporters at Chequers, Johnson said: “There was a brief gathering in the Cabinet Room shortly after 2pm lasting for less than 10 minutes, during which people I work with kindly passed on their good wishes.

“And I have to say in all frankness at that time it did not occur to me that this might have been a breach of the rules. I now humbly accept that I was.”

He added: “But I think the best thing I can do now is, having settled the fine, is focus on the job in hand. That’s what I’m going to do.”

Sunak said: “I understand that for figures in public office, the rules must be applied stringently in order to maintain public confidence. I respect the decision that has been made and have paid the fine.

“I know people sacrificed a great deal during Covid, and they will find this situation upsetting. I deeply regret the frustration and anger caused and I am sorry.”

With reporting from PA.

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