Boris Johnson ‘apologises unreservedly’ over video of staff laughing about Christmas party
The Prime Minister has apologised after a video surfaced of staff joking and laughing about a Christmas party he had repeatedly denied took place.
“Mr Speaker may I begin by saying I understand and share the anger up and down the country at seeing No 10 staff seeming to make light of lockdown measures,” he said.
“And I understand how infuriating it must be to think that the people who have been setting the rules have not been following the rules.
“Because I was also furious to see that clip. And Mr Speaker I apologise unreservedly for the offence that it has caused up and down the country, and I apologise for the impression that it gives.
“But I repeat Mr Speaker that I have been repeatedly assured since these allegations emerged that there was no party and that no Covid rules were broken and that is what I have been rep[eatedly assured.”
He says he has asked the cabinet secretary to establish all the facts and to report back.
Labour Leader Keir Starmer said the apology “raises more questions than answers”, and after a week of denials from No 10 “millions of people now think the prime minister was taking them for fools and they were lied to”.
“Why doesn’t he end the investigation right now by just admitting it?” he asks.
“Last week the Prime Minister said there was no party – now he says there is something to investigate.”
He added that the Christmas party undermined Boris Johnson’s messaging about the new variant.
Boris Johnson said that the Labour leader was trying to “muddy the waters” and “play politics” but that the British public were “not fooled”.
SNP leader Ian Blackford said that the Prime Minister was responsible for losing the trust of the people. “The only right and moral choice left to him is his resignation,” he said.
“People across this island have missed births, missed funerals, missed the opportunity to be at the side of loved ones in their dying moments. This is a moment of moral reckoning. Is this the man to lead these islands when lives are at stake?”
Boris Johnson said that he would “get on with the job” and it was “very sad” that the other parties were trying to “muddy the waters about events or non-events of a year ago”.
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