British Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologised on Wednesday for attending a “bring your own booze” gathering at his official residence during the first coronavirus lockdown and said he understood the fury it had caused.
“I know the rage they feel with me over 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,” an ashen-faced Johnson told parliament.
Johnson, who won a landslide 2019 election victory on a promise to secure Britain’s exit from the European Union, said he regretted his action and had thought the gathering at Downing Street, on May 20, 2020, was a work event.
“I went into that garden just after six on the 20th of May 2020 to thank groups of staff before going back into my office 25 minutes later to continue working,” he said.
“With hindsight, I should have said everyone back inside.”
Opposition lawmakers had said Johnson should resign and some in his own Conservative Party have said he should quit if he was found to have broken strict laws his government brought in to prevent the spread of the virus.