Downing Street apologises to Queen over parties on eve of Prince Philip's funeral 1 week ago

Downing Street apologises to Queen over parties on eve of Prince Philip's funeral

'Deeply regrettable'

Downing Street on Friday issued an apology to the Queen over two parties held on the eve of Prince Philip's funeral.

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The prime minister's spokesperson said it was "deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning and Number 10 has apologised to the Palace.

"You heard from the prime minister this week, he's recognised Number 10 should be held to the highest standards and take responsibility for things we did not get right."

Sky News reported that when questioned on why Johnson hadn't extended the apology himself, the spokesman added: "Well, again, the prime minister said earlier misjudgements have been made and it's right people apologise, as the prime minister did earlier this week.

"It remains the case that I can't prejudge the inquiry, which you know is ongoing, which has been led by Sue Gray, but we acknowledge the significant public anger, it was regrettable this took place a time of national mourning."

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Earlier on Friday, Johnson's former director of communications apologised "unreservedly" for one of the parties on 16 April 2021, which was held to mark his departure from Downing Street.

James Slack, who left Downing Street to become deputy editor-in-chief at The Sun, said he wanted to "apologise unreservedly for the anger and hurt caused" by the gathering, which is said to have involved 30 Downing Street staff partying into the early hours at Number 10 at a time when indoor mixing was banned.

"This event should not have happened at the time that it did. I am deeply sorry, and take full responsibility."

On 16 April 2021 - according to a story broken by The Telegraph on Thursday - people drank and danced to music at Downing Street and one attendee was dispatched with a suitcase to collect bottles of wine. The party took place the night before the Queen was forced to sit by herself at her husband's funeral at St George's Chapel in Windsor.

On Wednesday, Johnson finally admitted he attended the No 10 "bring your own booze" party during the height of the first lockdown and offered his "heartfelt apologies".

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