Boris Johnson admits he attended the Downing Street party in lockdown. He has apologised to the public because "they have gone to a lot of trouble".
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson admits he attended the Downing Street party in May 2020, when the country was in lockdown because of the pandemic.
Boris Johnson did go to the party when the country was in lockdown
Boris Johnson attended the Downing Street party on 20 May 2020, when the country was in lockdown, despite the restrictions.
He himself confessed in a government scrutiny session.
“I want to apologise,” Johnson began in his first attempt to account for the new allegations, saying he was aware that millions of people have suffered from the pandemic and the “anger” they feel towards him and the government “when they think the rules are not being properly followed by those who make them”.
He has acknowledged the facts, but said it was a “work event“. Moreover, they insist that he was there for 25 minutes to thank all his workers for their efforts during the outbreak of the health crisis.
“In retrospect, I should have sent everyone back inside. He should have found another way to thank them.”
Apology to citizens
In his appearance he also apologised to all the citizens “who have made so many sacrifices” over the past almost two years.
“I know the anguish they have gone through, not being able to mourn their families, not being able to live their lives as they wanted or do the things they like,” he said.
Amid mounting criticism and calls for him to consider keeping his job, Johnson has given his first account in the Commons scrutiny session of the party on 20 May 2020.
The Downing Street party
This celebration was organised in Downing Street in the midst of the lockdown over the first wave of COVID-19, which shook everyone to their core. Bypassing the restrictions he himself ordered, he met with some 40 people.
More than a hundred employees of the prime minister’s office were invited to the party, where each participant had to “bring their own bottle“, as the prime minister’s private secretary, Martin Reynolds, specified in an email.
He urged them to “make the most of the good weather” while having “a few drinks with social distance“. The email, obtained exclusively on television, encouraged all recipients to “join in from 18:00 and bring your own alcoholic beverage“. About 40 people participated in the meeting, where picnic snacks were eaten and alcohol was consumed.