PMQs RECAP: Boris Johnson issues apology as pressure mounts over Covid lockdown party
Boris Johnson is set to face MPs in a battle to save his premiership over allegations about a “bring your own booze” party in the No 10 garden in an apparent breach of Covid lockdown rules.
The Prime Minister will make his first public appearance since the leak on Monday of an email from his principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, inviting Downing Street staff to the gathering in May 2020 to “make the most of the lovely weather”.
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PMQs LIVE: Boris Johnson to face scrutiny from MPs as pressure mounts over Downing Street party
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford calls for the PM to resign saying that the public “will not forgive or forget.”
He says: “The Prime Minister shows no shame for his actions” He calls on members of the Conservative Party to ‘remove this contemptuous Prime Minister from office, and do it now!’
Boris Johnson says that he will take the comments with a pinch of salt given it is coming from the SNP and that he must wait for the inquiry.
The DUP’s Stephen Farry becomes the representative of a third party to call for Boris Johnson to resign. He says “If the Prime Minister was sincere he could have apologised any time over the past 18 months rather than waiting until he was found out.”
The PMs performance is certainly attracting a lot of attention
Karl Turner hits out at the Prime Minister saying that he is only sorry because he got caught. He says Johnson still wants to maintain one rule of him, and other for the rest of us. He must resign.
Boris Johnson refers to a previous answer as he shakes his head on the bench.
An absolute knife twist from the MP there.
Labour MP Toby Perkins echoes calls from other colleagues and says that no PM has dismissed his office like Johnson.
He has been sacked from two previous jobs for lying. Why should the office of PM be held to a lower standard.
Some Tory MPs have been asking a number of off tone questions today with washing machines and fuel allowance questions
The statement from Boris Johnson
I want to apologise. I know that millions of people across this country have made extraordinary sacrifices over the last 18 months.
I know the anguish they have been through - unable to mourn their relatives, unable to live their lives as they want or to do the things they love.
I know the rage they feel with me and with the government I lead when they think in Downing Street itself the rules are not being properly followed by the people who make the rules.
And though I cannot anticipate the conclusions of the current inquiry, I have learned enough to know there were things we simply did not get right and I must take responsibility.
No 10 is a big department with a garden as an extension of the office which has been in constant use because of the role of fresh air in stopping the virus.
When I went into that garden just after six on May 20, 2020, to thank groups of staff before going back into my office 25 minutes later to continue working, I believed implicitly that this was a work event.
With hindsight I should have sent everyone back inside. I should have found some other way to thank them.
I should have recognised that even if it could be said technically to fall within the guidance, there are millions and millions of people who simply would not see it that way, people who have suffered terribly, people who were forbidden for meeting loved ones at all inside or outside, and to them and to this House I offer my heartfelt apologies.
All I ask is that Sue Gray be allowed to complete her inquiry into that day and several others so that the full facts can be established.
Rhonda Bryant hits out at the PM calling out all the careers/reputations Johnson has taken down with him, arguing juniors shouldn’t carry the can for PM’s failings. She asks “How stupid does the prime minister think the British people are?”
Is the writing on the wall?
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