United Kingdom: Johnson apologizes after controversy over party in lockdown

A photograph released by the British Parliament shows British Prime Minister Boris Johnson attending Prime Minister's Questions at the House of Commons in London on January 12, 2022. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologized on Wednesday for attending a party in his Downing Street garden despite government restrictions on tackling the Covid pandemic.

AFP - JESSICA TAYLOR

Text by: RFI Follow

1 min

He has been under fire from critics since Monday evening.

Boris Johnson is accused of participating in a party with 40 people, in Downing Street, in May 2020, while the country was still severely confined.

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With our correspondent in London

,

Emeline Vin

The British Prime Minister has just

apologized

to Parliament on Wednesday.

I wish to apologize.

I know the anger of the British when they think that the rules are not followed by those who set them , ”

Boris Johnson

told

MPs.

Sober suit, serious air,

Boris Johnson assured that he was thinking of participating in a work meeting

, this May 20, 2020 at the end of the day, while his secretary had invited a hundred employees to bring something for a drink , in the garden at 10 Downing Street to enjoy the good weather.

I know millions of people across the country have made extraordinary sacrifices in the past 18 months.

(…) I understand the rage they feel towards me and towards the government that I lead when they see that in Downing Street itself, the people who make the rules do not follow them themselves.

English Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Emeline Wine

Boris Johnson will not resign

"

With hindsight, I should have sent everyone back inside

," admitted the Prime Minister, while stressing that the gathering "

technically

" respected the restrictions, since his residence is a place of work.

A remark that provoked bursts of laughter on the opposition benches.

Labor leader Keir Starmer recalled that this is the 12th festive meeting reported to Downing Street during lockdowns and called on Boris Johnson to step down for violating restrictions and for lying to Parliament when he said last December "

that 'no restrictions had been violated

'.

The head of government assures us to take "

all its responsibilities

" but will not resign, it awaits the conclusions of the internal investigation carried out by the senior official Sue Gray.

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