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Boris Johnson Apologizes for Downing Street Lockdown Party

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Boris Johnson Apologizes for Downing Street Lockdown Party

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain apologized in Parliament for attending a garden party at Downing Street in 2020 while the country was under a strict coronavirus lockdown. Mr. Johnson had not previously admitted to being at the gathering.

I want to apologize. 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, unable to mourn their relatives, unable to live their lives as they want, or to do the things they love. And I know the rage they feel with me and with the government I lead when they think that in Downing Street itself, the rules are not being properly followed by the people who make the rules. And though I cannot anticipate the conclusions of the current inquiry, I have learned enough to know that there were things we simply did not get right. And I must take responsibility. Number 10 is a big department with the garden as an extension of the office, which has been in constant use because of the role of fresh air in stopping the virus. And when I went into that garden just after 6 on the 20th of May 2020 to thank groups of staff before going back into my office 25 minutes later to continue working, I believed implicitly that this was a work event. But Mr. Speaker, with hindsight, I should have sent everyone back inside. I should have found some other way to thank them.

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