Jacob-Rees Mogg defends Boris Johnson after Partygate fine

Jacob Rees-Mogg has defended Boris Johnson over his Partygate fine because of the war in Ukraine.

Writing on Twitter, Rees-Mogg responded to Johnson's statement apologising for attending an event in June 2020 in which he was "ambushed with a cake" while households weren't allowed to mix indoors socially, and said Johnson "provides the leadership the nation needs" during Russia's war with Ukraine.

He wrote: "This ought to close this matter. There is a war on and the prime minister, supported by the chancellor, provides the leadership the nation needs."

It comes after Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak each received a fixed penalty notice, paying a £50 fine for breaking Covid laws that they created. Despite mounting criticism from the Labour Party and bereaved families, they have both said they won't resign for the breaches.

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It is not the first time Rees-Mogg has sucked up to his leader over Partygate. He has previously described the scandal as "fluff" and urged people to focus on Ukraine and the cost of living crisis.

Last week, he claimed in an interview with LBC that Johnson was given "the wrong information" about events in Downing Street during lockdown and said this didn't mean he had misled people, and this morning he clashed with Julia Hartley-Brewer on talkRADIO.

Meanwhile, other politicians including leader of the Scottish Conservatives Douglas Ross and Sir Roger Gale have also said it is no longer the right time to criticise Johnson because of the war in Ukraine.

We're not sure everyone would agree with that...

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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