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12th Jan 2022

Boris Johnson finally admits he attended No 10 garden party

Steve Hopkins

Sir Keir Starmer brands Boris’ comments ‘offensive to the British public’ 

Boris Johnson on Wednesday finally admitted he attended the No 10 “bring your own booze” party during the height of the first lockdown and offered his “heartfelt apologies”.

But the Prime Minister refused calls to resign, claiming he thought the party was a work event.

Johnson came clean during Prime Minister’s Questions, two days after a leaked email suggested he and wife Carrie had attended a drinks gathering in May 2020 that 100 people were invited to.

Johnson began by saying he wanted to apologise as he recognises the “anguish” covid restrictions have caused and the “rage” people feel “with me and the government I lead”.

“There were things we simply did not get right,” he said.

The PM said that on 20 May, he thanked staff and later returned to his office, believing it was a work event.

“With hindsight”, Johnson said, “I should have sent staff back inside”.

Sir Keir Starmer called the prime minister’s explanation “offensive to the British public”.

The Labour leader got stuck into Johnson, blasting the “defence of a man who didn’t realise he was at a party” and went on to say: “After months of deceit and deception, (this is) the pathetic spectacle of a man who’s run out of rope.”

Sir Keir called on Johnson to “do decent thing and resign”, a request that was met with cheers across the Commons.

In response, Johnson said he “bitterly regrets” the way things were handled, but urged Sir Keir to wait for the results of the investigation into the party.

Fifty-five minutes before the Downing Street party began, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden delivered a press conference reminding people of the lockdown rules, saying: “You can meet one person outside of your household in an outdoor, public place provided that you stay two metres apart.”

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