Boris Johnson has issued a public apology after admitting he attended a garden drink party at Downing Street during the first lockdown.
The Prime Minister is facing mounting pressure to step down over the event, which reportedly saw more than 100 No10 staff members invited to drinks in the No10 Garden during the height of the nationwide lockdown.
Boris was speaking at the Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons this afternoon when he said he believed it was a “work event”.
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Mr Speaker, I would like to apologize,” Mr Johnson said.
“I know that millions of people in this country have made extraordinary sacrifices over the past 18 months.
“I know the agony they went through, unable to grieve for their loved ones, unable to live their lives the way they want or do the things they love.
“And I know the anger they feel at me, or at the government I lead, when they think that at Downing Street itself, the rules are not being properly followed by the people who make the rules.
“And while I can’t anticipate the conclusions of the current investigation, I’ve learned enough to know that we just weren’t doing some things right.
“And I have to take responsibility.
“Number 10 is a large department with the garden as an extension of the office, which has been in constant use due to the fresh air’s role in stopping the virus.
“And as I walked into that garden just after six on May 20, 2020 to thank groups and staff before returning to my office 25 minutes later to continue working, I implicitly believed this was a work event.
“But Mr. Speaker, in hindsight I should have sent everyone back in.
“I should have found another way to thank them.
“And I should have realized that even if you could technically say it falls under the guidelines, there would be millions and millions of people who just wouldn’t see it that way.
“People who have suffered terribly, people who are forbidden from meeting their loved ones, indoors or out, and to them and to this House I offer my sincere apologies.
“And all I ask is that Sue Gray be allowed to complete her investigation into this day and several others so that the full facts can be established.”
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