Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologizes for attending a party during the coronavirus lockdown, saying it did not occur to him that a birthday gathering was a party.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered what he called a “sincere” apology for attend an illegal party during lockdown, but insisted he did not knowingly break the rules or mislead Parliament and dismissed calls to resign.
Johnson told lawmakers in the House of Commons on Tuesday that it “didn’t occur to me” that the birthday gathering, complete with a full cake, would be a party.
Opposition politicians, and some of the Conservatives in government, have called with growing frustration for Johnson to resign since stories began to circulate late last year about parties at the prime minister’s office and other government buildings while the country was in lockdown. under coronavirus restrictions. The scandal became known as “Game”.
Last week, Johnson was fined £50 ($65) for attending his own surprise birthday party at 10 Downing Street in June 2020, making him the first British prime minister to break the law. while in office.
Speaking as the House of Commons returned from an 11-day Easter recess, Johnson acknowledged people’s “pain and anger” but added that “it did not occur to me then or later that a meeting in the Cabinet Room , just before a vital COVID strategy meeting, could constitute a rule violation.”
Opposition Labor Party leader Keir Starmer called the apology “a joke” and challenged the Conservatives to get rid of Johnson.
“Even now as the latest moody apology comes out of one side of his mouth, a whole new set of deviations and distortions come out of the other side,” Starmer said.
“He knows that he is dishonest and unable to change. So he drags everyone else down with him.”
John Robinson deserves better.
Britain deserves better. pic.twitter.com/5ASkZXp5NJ
—Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) April 19, 2022
Labor is trying to get Johnson censured by lawmakers over the “Partygate” scandal.
Speaker Lindsay Hoyle said she would allow Labor to hold a debate in the House of Commons and vote on whether Johnson should be investigated for allegedly misleading Parliament.
The large Conservative majority in Parliament means the measure is unlikely to pass.
Johnson insisted Tuesday that he was sorry, but argued that it would be wrong to change leaders while Britain faces crises including the war in Ukraine and a falling cost of living driven by rising energy and goods prices.