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Boris Johnson apologizes for attending Downing Street lockdown garden party – POLITICO

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LONDON — Boris Johnson has apologized after admitting he attended a drinks party within the garden of No. 10 Downing Street throughout Britain’s first lockdown, however claimed he thought it was a “work occasion.”

In the beginning of prime minister’s questions, the U.Okay. prime minister informed parliament: “I need to apologize. I do know that hundreds of thousands of individuals throughout this nation have made extraordinary sacrifices during the last 18 months.”

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Johnson mentioned he “knew the anguish they’ve been by” and acknowledged there have been issues “we merely didn’t get proper.”

The prime minister added that on Might 20, 2020, when his senior aide Martin Reynolds invited greater than 100 Downing Street workers to “profit from the climate,” he “believed implicitly this was a piece occasion.”

With hindsight, Johnson mentioned, he ought to have despatched everybody house.

Labour chief Keir Starmer referred to as his account “ridiculous” and referred to as on Johnson to resign.

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Starmer described Boris Johnson as a “man with out disgrace”, asking: “Can’t the prime minister see why the British public suppose he’s mendacity by his tooth?”

His calls for the prime minister to resign had been echoed by Ian Blackford, chief of the Scottish Nationwide Party at Westminster, and different opposition MPs.

Labour’s Chris Bryant confronted Johnson, asking the embattled chief: “So the prime minister didn’t spot that he was at a social occasion? Come off it. How silly does the prime minister suppose that the British individuals are?”

Johnson repeated a number of occasions that he understood the harm he had brought on — however he insisted it was proper to attend for an inquiry into authorities events, led by senior official Sue Grey to proceed. He promised he would return to parliament after its conclusion.

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