British Johnson breaches ministerial code with his offense, says constitutional expert

LONDONApr 17 – Prime Minister Boris Johnson has plunged Britain into a constitutional crisis by breaking the law he laid down for pandemic restrictions, “tearing the ministerial code to pieces”, the country’s top constitutional expert said on Sunday. .

Peter Hennessy, a historian and member of the Upper House of Parliament, said Johnson had become a “great predator of modern civility in public life and politics” after he was fined by police for attending social gatherings on Downing Street while the lockdown was enforced. is happening.

The ministerial code sets out the standards of behavior expected of ministers and how they carry out their duties, according to the government’s website.

Opposition lawmakers accused Johnson of misleading Parliament on the matter, after he said last year that all rules had been followed on Downing Street during the pandemic. On Tuesday he will appear in the House of Commons to explain why he was fined by the police.

He has also apologized after becoming the first British leader to break the law during his tenure. Police are investigating another encounter and could be fined more.

“I think we are in the most serious constitutional crisis involving a prime minister that I can remember,” Hennessy said. BBC Radio, wondering why anyone in public life plays by the rules while the prime minister doesn’t.

“The prime minister seals his place in British history as the first lawbreaker to ever hold the post of prime minister,” he said, adding that he was no longer fit to serve the queen or her country.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, a minister in Johnson’s cabinet, said he respected Hennessy but did not believe the constitutional expert fully understood the constitutional meaning of the cabinet code.

Johnson, he said, told Parliament in good faith that he had not broken any rules, because he did not believe he had.

“It’s very difficult for him to live up to parliament’s deliberately misleading high standards,” Rees-Mogg told BBC. “So I think Lord Hennessy, who is one of the most prominent living constitutionalists, is wrong on this.”

Elena Eland

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