Boris Johnson's Partygate apology went down as well as you'd expect

Boris Johnson's Partygate apology went down as well as you'd expect
Watch live as Boris Johnson addresses MPs over Partygate fines
Parliament TV

Social media users are voicing their reactions after Boris Johnson apologised to MPs over his police fine for breaking his own lockdown rules.

His statement was heard in the Commons today after MPs returned to Westminster after Easter.

Just as earlier reports set out, the prime minister stopped short of addressing allegations he instigated a separate lockdown leaving do – and also attempted to convince MPs that there are bigger issues than partygate to be focusing on.

It comes after Johnson became the first prime minister to be sanctioned by the police for breaking the law in office.

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak also received a £50 fine, as did Johnson's wife Carrie Johnson, because they all attended an event in Downing Street in June 2020 to celebrate the PM's birthday when it was illegal for households to mix for social reasons.

He was then accused over the weekend of not only attending a leaving party for his former communications chief Lee Cain on November 13 2020, but instigating the do.

Speaking to the Commons, Johnson's said: "Let me begin in all humility by saying that on April 12 I received a fixed penalty notice relating to an event in Downing Street on June 19 2020.

“I paid the fine immediately and I offered the British people a full apology, and I take this opportunity on the first available sitting day to repeat my wholehearted apology to the House.”

“As soon as I received the notice, I acknowledged the hurt and anger and I said that people had a right to expect better of their Prime Minister – and I repeat that, Mr Speaker, again in the House now.

“Let me also say, not by way of mitigation or excuse but purely because it explains my previous words in this House, that it did not occur to me then or subsequently that a gathering in the Cabinet Room just before a vital meeting on Covid strategy could amount to a breach of the rules.

“I repeat that was my mistake and I apologise for it unreservedly.

“I respect the outcome of the police investigation, which is still under way, and I can only say that I will respect their decision-making and always take the appropriate steps.”

Mr Johnson said he has taken “significant steps” to change the way things work in No 10.The prime minister was heckled by calls for him to 'resign' but continued on and used the rest of his apology to highlight the work the UK is doing to help Ukraine fight the war against Russia.

Labour leader Keir Starmer, started his reply by saying "what a joke" before adding: "As the mealy-mouthed apology stumbles from one side of his mouth, more deflections and distortions come from the other.” “It’s what he does. It’s who he is. He knows he’s dishonest and incapable of changing”.

Additional reporting by PA.

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