Boris Johnson issues apology after being fined over partygate - then immediately tries to back out of it 2 months ago

Boris Johnson issues apology after being fined over partygate - then immediately tries to back out of it

The PM will face a Commons vote on Thursday over claims he misled MPs

Boris Johnson has reiterated his apology for breaking covid rules by attending a Downing Street party during lockdown - but then attempted to back out of it.

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The PM, who faced MPs for the first time on Tuesday since he was fined last week along with his wife, Carrie Johnson, and Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, told MPs that he paid the fine immediately and, "I offered the British people a full apology".

"I repeat the whole-hearted apology to the house," Johnson said Tuesday before he again acknowledged the "the hurt and anger" he had caused to people who had "a right to expect better of a prime minister".

Johnson then tried to justify what he had done, saying, "not by way of mitigation, or excuse, but purely to explain my previous words in this house" it did not occur to "me then, or subsequently" that his actions could amount to a breach of the rules.

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Labour leader Keir Starmer slammed the "half-hearted apology" as a "joke" and again called on Johnson to resign.

Johnson spoke after it was determined on Tuesday that he will face a Commons vote on whether claims he misled MPs over partygate should be investigated.  Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle granted a request from opposition MPs for a vote which will be held on Thursday.

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The PM was fined for attending a gathering to mark his birthday in June 2020, in breach of his own government's social distancing rules.

Johnson's fine was confirmed by no 10 officials last Tuesday after the Met Police earlier said it has issued issued 50 fines for breaches of lockdown regulations in Whitehall and Downing Street.

Police are investigating 12 gatherings held at Downing Street and the Cabinet Office after an internal inquiry found the PM's staff had enjoyed alcohol-fuelled parties, with Johnson attending some of the events himself.

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