British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has apologized after attending a ‘BYO’ party in the garden of Number 10 Downing Street during the May 2020 lockdown.
It was Mr Johnson’s first admission that he was at the party after it was revealed by ITV News on Monday that his private secretary had emailed more than 100 staff inviting them to “drinks at social distancing” on May 22, 2020.
Back then, people in England were limited to meeting one person they didn’t live with outside.
“Mr President, I want to apologise,” Mr Johnson told Parliament.
“I know millions of people across this country have made extraordinary sacrifices over the past 18 months.
“I know the anguish they went through, unable to mourn their loved ones, unable to live their lives the way they want or do the things they love.
“And I know the rage they feel against me, and against the government I lead, when they think that in Downing Street itself the rules are not being followed correctly by those who make them.
Mr Johnson said he saw the garden at Number 10 as an extension of the office and the unfolding gathering was a ‘working event’.
“When I went to this garden just after 6 a.m. on May 20, 2020 to thank groups of staff before returning to my office 25 minutes later to continue working, I implicitly believed that it was a work event.
“In hindsight, I should have sent everyone back inside. I should have found another way to thank them.”