News 12 January 2022

Boris Johnson Issues Apology After Admitting Attendance At Garden Party During Lockdown

12 January 2022

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has apologised for attending a garden party at Downing Street during the UK’s first lockdown party.

Boris Johnson made the apology while addressing the Commons this afternoon (January 12).

“I want to apologise,” Mr Johnson said, adding that he “must take responsibility” for the events that took place.

Mr Johnson’s apology comes after it emerged that one of his top officials sent an invitation to a “bring your own booze” party in the Number 10 garden on 20th May 2020 – when such gatherings were banned.

According to a leaked email, Johnson’s principal private secretary Martin Reynolds invited more than 100 staffers to “socially distanced drinks” to “make the most of the lovely weather”. Around 40 people attended the party.

Speaking to the Commons today, Johnson said: “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.”

He has asked Sue Gray – a civil servant tasked with investigating the government’s alleged parties – to look into the events which unfolded on 20th May 2020.

Responding to Boris Johnson’s admission and apology, Labour leader Keir Starmer said the Prime Minister should “do the decent thing and resign”, adding that Johnson’s defence is “so ridiculous that it is actually offensive to the British people”.