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PMQs: Boris Johnson apologises for party on May 20th
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At midday today, Boris Johnson was grilled by opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer over his attendance at a party in the Downing Street garden during the first lockdown. Good Morning Britain presenter Susanna Reid shared her thoughts on the latest round of Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs).
Accusations that Boris, along with approximately 40 other officials, broke lockdown rules have led to a full-scale investigation into the party held at Number 10 on May 20.
These events were sparked by a leaked email from the Prime Minister’s Principal Private Secretary Martin Reynolds, in which he seemingly invited 100 staff members to the event, telling them to “make the most of the lovely weather”.
Today, Boris admitted he was in attendance at the event, although he insisted that the investigation reach its conclusion before any final judgement calls were made.
Susanna, 51, took to Twitter to share her frustration at Boris with her 848,800 followers.
She began by simply tweeting, “Work event,” in reaction to Boris’ claim that he believed the occasion to be a “work event”, rather than a party.
Moments later Susanna wrote: “An apology with an excuse is not an apology.”
This will be in reference both to the claim that Boris believed it to be a work event, and also to his suggestion that his actions didn’t necessarily break any rules.
“If the garden was an extension of the office, why did the party require an email invitation and a request to ‘bring your own booze’?” Susanna continued.
“Ah, finally he’s resorted to his favourite get-out-of-jail card – the vaccine rollout #PMQS,” Susanna quipped later on when Boris mentioned the success of Britain’s vaccine rollout.
Reflecting on the broadcast from the Houses of Parliament, Susanna spoke about the many people who were worst affected by the lockdown, but who followed the rules nonetheless.
“In the Commons are MPs who will rally for the Prime Minister and opponents who will jeer him,” she tweeted.
“In the real world are people who suffered grievous loss on the day this party took place. How many of them will forgive him after that excuse-apology?”
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She went on to say: “I feel sad today about what the Prime Minister has said today & the way it was said.
“The fact the rules weren’t applied to the rule-makers while the whole of the rest of the country was being rigorous to the point of suffering devastating pain and loneliness. It feels shameless.”
While Boris today admitted to attending the illegal party and expressed regret over his actions, he also insinuated that his actions might have stayed within the remit of legality, adding that he only briefly came outside to greet his staff.
In response, Labour leader Keir called on the prime minister at PMQs to do “the decent thing” and resign his position. “The prime minister is a man without shame,” he said.
As Keir continued to berate Boris and remind him of the many people who had given up their chance to see sick loved ones and elderly relatives over lockdown, one theme was quite apparent in all of his answers.
While the Prime Minister has admitted that his actions were poorly judged “in hindsight”, he insisted that the opposition should hold off on final judgement until the inquiry has reached its conclusion.
In response, the leader of the opposition said: “The party is over.
“The only question is will the British public kick him out, will his party kick him out, will he do the decent thing and resign?”
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