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Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, Johnson said that he understood the public’s outrage at the video, which was taken whilst Covid-19 restrictions were in place stopping families from meeting over Christmas, and said he was ‘furious’ himself.
He also said that a full internal investigation would be conducted into what happened, and those found to have acted inappropriately would face consequences.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer called for all information regarding the alleged December 18 gathering to be passed to the Metropolitan Police for investigation.
The force said yesterday that they would decide on whether to investigate the matter.
Whilst Johnson apologised to the public for the video that emerged, he stopped short of apologising for the alleged party, repeating his denial that any rules were broken.
He said that he could ‘understand and share the anger’ at seeing the video in which staff seemed to ‘make light of lockdown measures’, and added: "I was also furious to see that clip,
"I apologise unreservedly for the offence that it gave up and down the country."
Starmer said that the apology ‘raises more questions than answers’ and said that ‘millions of people now think the prime minister was taking them for fools and they were lied to’.
He added: “They’re right, aren’t they?”
They hosted a party during lockdown.— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) December 8, 2021
They knew it was against the rules.
They knew they couldn’t admit it.
They thought it was funny.
Then they covered it up.
The Prime Minister must hand over everything the Government knows about the parties in Downing Street to the police.
Johnson responded: "I've been repeatedly assured that no rules were broken,"
He went on to say that ‘the requisite disciplinary action if necessary’ against those who are found to have been in breach of any regulations or restrictions.
The Prime Minister accused Labour of trying to ‘play politics’ with the issue, and said that his government is ‘focusing on rolling out the vaccines not the events of a year ago’.
Starmer went on to ask whether the Prime Minister thought that he had the 'moral authority' to lead the country after these allegations of impropriety.
He said: "No-one was dreaming of a Zoom Christmas, Turkey for one, gifts exchanged at service stations,
"The British people put the health of others above themselves"
Johnson responded: "The British people put the health of others above themselves."
He added that the British public have 'got on with showing great commitment to the health of this country'.
Johnson is set to make an announcement on further Covid-19 restrictions later today.
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