oris Johnson vowed on Thursday to fight the next General Election as he faced a Tory revolt over the partygate scandal.
The Prime Minister was in India for a two-day trade and diplomatic mission as MPs back in London were debating whether to refer him to the Commons Privileges Committee to investigate whether he misled Parliament by saying that Covid laws were not broken by partying in Downing Street.
Mr Johnson has been fined £50 by Scotland Yard for attending a surprise birthday party for him in No10 on June 19, 2020.
The Metropolitan Police is also believed to be investigating up to five other events which he attended while the country was in lockdown or under other Covid restrictions.
The scandal has left Mr Johnson fighting to stay in No10.
Boris Johnson visit to India
Asked by reporters on the plane to India whether he will fight the next election, the Prime Minister replied, “Of course.”
Pressed if he saw any circumstances where he could resign, he said: “Not a lot springs to mind at the moment.”
Mr Johnson also stressed that it was time to focus on other pressing international and domestic issues such as the Ukraine war and the cost-of-living crisis.
“The best thing we can all do is to focus on things that can really change and improve the lives of voters and stop talking about politicians,” he said.
In London, Government whips were scrambling to limit the size of a rebellion by backbench MPs over the referral of Mr Johnson to the Privileges Committee.
They are seeking to delay a vote on the issue until after the Met has completed its investigation into partygate and senior civil servant Sue Gray has published her full report on the scandal.
Former Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell, MP for Sutton Coldfield, predicted that so many of his Tory colleagues would be absent from the Commons that the vote would go through “on the nod”.
He told ITV’s Peston programme last night: “I don’t think there will be a vote tomorrow, I think the House of Commons will agree to refer it to the Privileges committee.”
“I shan’t be there, quite a lot of my colleagues are heading off either tonight or tomorrow morning to their constituencies.
“We expect this matter to be referred to the Privileges Committee and I think the government will go along with it. After all if you look down the years, references to the privileges committee have normally gone through on the nod.”
However, other reports suggested that the Whips’ move to delay a vote, rather than seek to kill off the referral, had won over enough Tory backbenchers for the Labour motion for an investigation by the Privileges Committee to fail.
Cabinet ministers were rallying around Mr Johnson.
However, Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said: “Boris Johnson is leading the Conservative Party into the sewer.
“Now it’s up to Tory MPs to decide whether they let him take them down the drain with him.”