PM Johnson is visiting India while the UK’s Partygate row continues

LONDON (Parliament Politics Magazine) – As he began a two-day trip to India, Boris Johnson downplayed the dispute over a new Partygate inquiry, saying he is concentrating on “the things that matter.”

On his first visit to India since becoming Prime Minister in 2019, Johnson will discuss security and trade with the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. When he arrived in Ahmedabad, he was greeted with many bouquets of roses. Billboards with large pictures of Johnson dotted the road leading into the city centre.

However, the trip may be overshadowed by the ongoing Partygate controversy, as MPs prepare to vote on a Labour resolution to report him to parliament’s privileges committee over allegations that he misled the House of Commons.

On a frenzied day in Westminster on Wednesday, Johnson’s allies were pushed to propose a last-minute amendment amid fears that enough backbenchers would abstain to allow Labour’s motion to pass.

On his way to India, Johnson downplayed Partygate, saying he’d rather focus on other serious problems. Politics had taught him one thing: it was better to talk about and focus on the things that mattered, the things that made a genuine difference to the people, rather than politicians themselves he said, adding that he was focused on employment, growth, and a terrific partnership with India.

“Not a lot springs to mind at the moment,” he answered when asked if there were any conditions in which he could quit over Partygate.

Instead, Johnson emphasised the necessity of establishing a free trade agreement with India, implying that the UK may be willing to loosen its immigration policy to accomplish so.

Two rounds of talks have already taken place, with a third scheduled for later this month, and both parties have stated their desire to reach an agreement by the end of 2022.

The war in Ukraine will also be a major topic of discussion during Johnson’s visit, despite No 10’s assurances that he will not “lecture” his host. India, which has a long history with Russia, refused to back a UN resolution condemning Ukraine invasion by Vladimir Putin.

Johnson paid a visit to the Sabarmati Ashram. He was given a copy of Mahatma Gandhi’s London guide. “Vegetarianism costs far less than meat eating,” the PM added as he read from it.

There was always a concern that the socks were going to let you down, Johnson said after taking off his shoes.

Johnson then boarded a chinook chopper from the Indian Air Force to open a JCB factory in Vadodara. JCB is owned by Tory supporter Lord Bamford, and Johnson has visited its factories in the UK several times, notably during the 2019 general election campaign to bulldoze through a polystyrene brick wall.

Ashton Perry

Ashton Perry is a former Birmingham BSc graduate professional with six years critical writing experience. With specilisations in journalism focussed writing on climate change, politics, buisness and other news. A passionate supporter of environmentalism and media freedom, Ashton works to provide everyone with unbiased news.