PMQs: Boris Johnson apologises for party on May 20th
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Boris Johnson has taken a hammering in the House of Commons today as the Prime Minister has tried to apologise for the Downing Street party scandal. Following his statement to MPs in PMQs this afternoon, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer asked if Mr Johnson would resign – labelling it “ridiculous” that the Prime Minister suggested he “didn’t realise he was at a party”.
Mr Johnson told MPs in the House of Commons today: “I want to apologise. I know that lots of people across this country have made sacrifices.
“The anguish they have been through, unable to live their lives as they want or do things they love.
“I know the rage they feel with me and the Government I lead when they think in Downing Street itself the rules are not being followed.
“Though I cannot anticipate the conclusion of the current inquiry, I have learned enough to know there were things we did not get right and I must take responsibility.”
He continued: “No 10 is a big department with a garden as an extension of the office which has been in constant use because of the role of fresh air in stopping the virus.
“When I went into that garden on May 20 to thank groups of staff before going back into my office 25 minutes later to continue working, I believed this was a work event.
“But with hindsight I should have sent everyone back inside, I should have found another way to thank them.
“I should have recognised that even if it could be said technically to fall within the guidance, there are millions and millions of people who simply would not see it that way, people who have suffered terribly, people who were forbidden for meeting loved ones at all inside or outside, and to them and to this House I offer my heartfelt apologies.
“All I ask is that Sue Gray be allowed to complete her inquiry into that day and several others so that the full facts can be established.”
Despite his apology, there is growing anger both from opposition MPs and from senior politicians within his own party.
Alliance MP Stephen Farry said Mr Johnson’s apology is “too little, too late.”
He added that he is only apologising because he has been “found out” and has called on the PM to do the “honourable” to resign.
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