Boris Johnson has admitted attending an event in the Downing Street garden during the first lockdown and apologised to the nation while arguing the gathering could “technically” be said to have not broken any rules.
Johnson’s version of events was not accepted by Keir Starmer, with the Labour leader saying the prime minister should step down. “The only question is: will the British public kick him out, will his party kick him out, or will he do the decent thing and resign?” Starmer said.
In a much-anticipated and carefully worded statement just before prime minister’s questions, Johnson acknowledged the mass public anger after an email emerged inviting No 10 staff to the event on 20 May 2020, which was billed as social.
“Mr Speaker, I want to apologise,” he told a packed Commons. “I know that millions of people across this country have made extraordinary sacrifices over the last 18 months. I know the anguish that they have been through.”
He said: “I know the rage they feel with me, and with the government I lead, when they think that in Downing Street itself the rules were not being properly followed by the people who make the rules.”