DEMAND AN END TO POVERTY THIS GENERAL ELECTION
TAKE ACTION
Politics

Boris Johnson apologises for not realising his birthday party was a party

The prime minister has (sort of) apologised after being fined for breaking lockdown rules.

Johnson said it was his 'mistake' that he didn't realise he had broken the rules. Image: Parliament TV

Boris Johnson has apologised in parliament for the fact it did “not occur” to him that his birthday party in the Cabinet room was against coronavirus rules.

Speaking in the House of Commons for the first time since receiving his fine over the Easter recess, Johnson repeated his apology for receiving a fine for breaking Covid curbs.

The statement was delivered after speaker Lindsay Hoyle confirmed MPs will get to decide whether Johnson should be investigated for misleading the Commons.

“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,” Johnson said.

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

Responding, Labour leader Keir Starmer said: “What a joke.”

Earlier this month, Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak received £50 fines for attending a birthday party held for Johnson in Downing Street in June 2020.

The prime minister previously confirmed he would follow the tradition of resigning if it emerged he willingly misled parliament. Under the ministerial code, which bears Johnson’s signature, any minister is expected to resign if they do so.

After denying there were any parties in Downing Street, and that he had broken the rules, Johnson subsequently said it “did not occur” to him the event, which included cake, broke the rules.

Conservative MPs defended Johnson ahead of his statement, with Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis saying the fine was no different to a parking ticket.

On Thursday, MPs will vote on a motion, put forward by Starmer, which would place Johnson under investigation by the privileges committee and determine whether his statements to the Commons amount to wilful misleading.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
'Great pity' major parties are ignoring poverty in election, says Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart
Rory Stewart and Alastair Campbell
General election 2024

'Great pity' major parties are ignoring poverty in election, says Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart

People with learning disabilities need to make their voices heard on election day
Ismail Kaji of Mencap
Learning Disability Week 2024

People with learning disabilities need to make their voices heard on election day

How Nigel Farage could become next Tory leader – and why we all should be concerned
General election 2024

How Nigel Farage could become next Tory leader – and why we all should be concerned

Even Nigel Farage wants to scrap the two-child benefit cap. When will Labour see sense?
General election 2024

Even Nigel Farage wants to scrap the two-child benefit cap. When will Labour see sense?

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know