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LONDON – Boris Johnson has apologized after admitting attending a drinks party in 10 Downing Street garden during the UK’s first lockdown, but claimed he considered it a “work event”.
At the beginning of the Prime Minister’s questions, the UK Prime Minister said to Parliament: “I apologize. I know that millions of people in this country have made extraordinary sacrifices in the past 18 months. “
Johnson said he “knew the agony they went through” and admitted that there were things “we just didn’t get right”.
The Prime Minister added that on May 20, 2020, when his senior adviser Martin Reynolds invited more than 100 employees on Downing Street to “make the most of the weather,” he “implicitly believed this was a work event.”
In hindsight, Johnson said, he should have sent everyone home.
Labor leader Keir Starmer called his account “ridiculous” and called on Johnson to resign.
Describing Boris Johnson as a “man without shame”, Starmer asked, “Can’t the Prime Minister see why the British public thinks he is lying through his teeth?”
His calls for the Prime Minister’s resignation were taken up by Ian Blackford, chairman of the Scottish National Party in Westminster, and other opposition MPs.
Confronted Johnson’s Chris Bryant, he asked the embattled leader, “So the Prime Minister didn’t realize he was at a social event? Come away How stupid does the Prime Minister think the British people are? “
Johnson reiterated several times that he understood the damage he was causing – but insisted it was right to wait for an investigation into the ruling parties, led by senior official Sue Gray, to continue. He promised to return to parliament when it was over.