Boris comes clean and apologises for Christmas Drinks Party. But will he resign?
Boris Johnson has admitted he attended a drinks party at No 10 during the first lockdown, saying he was there for 25 minutes. Speaking at PMQs, he offered a “heartfelt apology” but said he believed it was a work event.
Until now, Johnson has evaded the questions put to him, he has not confirmed or denied this. No 10 says it is waiting for the results of an inquiry.
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Starmer said the prime minister should resign
Labour leader Keir Starmer said the prime minister should “do the decent thing and resign”. The prime minister has apologised for attending a drinks party in Downing Street’s garden during the lockdown in May 2020.
Labour, the SNP and the Lib Dems are calling for him to resign after Boris comes clean, he should go. What will be crucial in the next few hours is the reaction of Tory MPs. The opposition are adamant that the PM apologising for the Christmas drinks party is not enough.
PM apologises for Christmas drinks party
Here’s what he said:
“Mr Speaker, 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 that they have been through – unable to mourn their relatives, unable to live their lives as they want or do the things they love. And I know the rage they feel with me and with the government I lead, when they think that in Downing Street itself the rules are not being properly followed by the people who make the rules.”
Conservative MP Rachel McClean is giving her reaction to the PM’s apologising for the Christmas drinks party.
She says the law applies to everyone, including the prime minister and there are consequences for breaking it.
But she will not go as far as to say that the PM should resign if he is found to have broken the law.
The government guidance for England on 20 May 2020 said workplace public gatherings should only take place if they were essential and that “workers should try to minimise all meetings and other gatherings in the workplace”. They were also to “reduce the number of people you spend time within a work setting”.
As well as the issue of the party breaching these guidelines, there were also a number of legal restrictions in place.
People could not leave their homes (or be outside the place they live) without a reasonable excuse, which included work (where you couldn’t work from home).
So while anyone attending the party may have broken the law, it might be argued this would not apply to the prime minister himself. That’s because the PM lives in Downing Street and so would not have technically left his home to attend.