UK’s Boris Johnson offers apology after lockdown parties fine
Al Jazeera

Countdown’s Susie Dent has done it again.

The dictionary-wielding media personality regularly shares her “word of the day” on Twitter - typically tying them to current events - and yesterday’s pick threw some major shade at the prime minister.

Following the news that Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak were to be fined by the Metropolitan police over lockdown-breaking parties during the pandemic, Dent tweeted an absolute belter.

She wrote: “Word of the day is 'maw-worm' (19th century): one who insists that they have done nothing wrong, despite evidence to the contrary.”

Oof.

Sign up to our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter

It comes as Johnson and Sunak shelled out for fines and apologised for attending Johnson’s birthday bash in Downing Street during Covid restrictions.

Johnson said it “did not occur” to him that the gathering in the Cabinet Room on June 19th 2020 to mark his 56th birthday was a violation of coronavirus rules, but that he “now humbly accepts” he did breach Covid-19 laws.

Sunak, meanwhile, said: “I deeply regret the frustration and anger caused and I am sorry.”

Carrie Johnson, the prime minister’s wife, was also issued with a fine which has been paid.

Scotland Yard, according to a statement published by No 10, said Johnson had been fined because “on June 19th 2020 at the Cabinet Room… between 1400 and 1500” he had been part of “a gathering of two or more people indoors”, which was banned at the time.

The prime minister, speaking to broadcasters at Chequers, said he “fully respects” the outcome of the police investigation and that he accepted “in all sincerity that people had the right to expect better” from him.

Sunak, whose fine relates to the same event, said: “I understand that for figures in public office, the rules must be applied stringently in order to maintain public confidence. I respect the decision that has been made and have paid the fine.”

Outlining the busy nature of the day the fine related to, Johnson said he chaired eight meetings in No 10 and followed them up with a four-hour round trip to a school in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.

He said: “There was a brief gathering in the Cabinet Room shortly after 2pm lasting for less than 10 minutes, during which people I work with kindly passed on their good wishes.

“And I have to say in all frankness at that time it did not occur to me that this might have been a breach of the rules.”

He added: “I now humbly accept that I was.

“But I think the best thing I can do now is, having settled the fine, is focus on the job in hand. That’s what I’m going to do.”

Asked if he thought more fines were coming his way, he said the media would be among the first to know.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)