UK PM Boris Johnson apologises in Parliament for attending lockdown party
Anger had escalated when ITV News revealed Johnson and his partner Carrie socialised with approximately 40 Downing Street staffers in the garden after his Principal Private Secretary Martin Reynolds issued an email inviting visitors to "bring your own drink."
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologised on Wednesday for attending a "bring your own booze" gathering at his official residence during the first coronavirus lockdown and said he understood the fury it had caused. He said he knows the rage they feel over the government when they think that the rules are not being adequately followed by the people who make the rules in Downing Street itself.
Johnson, who won a landslide election win in 2019 on a vow to achieve Britain's withdrawal from the European Union, claimed he regretted his actions and mistook the gathering at Downing Street for a business function on May 20, 2020.
"I walked into the garden just after six o'clock on May 20, 2020, to thank groups of colleagues before returning to my office 25 minutes later to resume working," he explained. Johnson further said that he should have yelled, 'Everyone back inside'.
Opposition MPs have suggested Johnson should resign. Some in his own Conservative Party have also said he should leave if it is shown that he violated severe restrictions enacted by his administration to limit the spread of the virus.
Anger had escalated when ITV News revealed Johnson and his partner Carrie socialised with approximately 40 Downing Street staffers in the garden after his Principal Private Secretary Martin Reynolds issued an email inviting visitors to "bring your own booze." In contrast to the events in Downing Street, many individuals, including some politicians, have detailed how the restrictions kept them away from the bedsides of dying loved ones last May.
Two surveys released on Tuesday found that over half of those polled felt Johnson should resign.