I’m sorry: UK PM Johnson admits attending lockdown party
British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, apologised today for attending a “bring your own booze” gathering at his official residence during the country’s first coronavirus lockdown, while opponents demanded he resign.
He admitted for the first time that he had attended the party at 10 Downing Street on May 20, 2020, when COVID-19 rules limited social gatherings to a bare minimum, and said he understood the public anger the revelations had caused.
“I know the rage they feel with me over the government I lead when they think that in Downing Street itself the rules are not being properly followed by the people who make the rules,” an ashen-faced Johnson told parliament.
He said he regretted his action and had thought the gathering was a work event – drawing jeers and laughter from opposition lawmakers.
“I went into that garden just after six on the 20th of May 2020 to thank groups of staff before going back into my office 25 minutes later to continue working,” Johnson said.
“With hindsight, I should have sent everyone back inside.”
Leaders of all the main opposition parties called for his resignation.
Labour Party leader, Keir Starmer, said the public – who handed Johnson a landslide election victory in December 2019 after he promised to secure Britain’s exit from the European Union – thought him a liar.
“The party’s over, prime minister,” Starmer told him.
“After months of deceit and deception, the pathetic spectacle of a man who has run out of road. His defence that he didn’t realise he was at a party is so ridiculous that is actually offensive to the British public.”