To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Boris Johnson Apologises To MPs For Breaking Lockdown Rules

Boris Johnson Apologises To MPs For Breaking Lockdown Rules

Ahead of his appearance in the House of Commons, a Downing Street source said Johnson would ‘offer a full-throated apology'

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has apologised after being fined by police for breaking coronavirus rules, along with wife Carrie and Chancellor Rishi Sunak. 

The trio were among those handed fines by the Metropolitan Police for attending a birthday party thrown in Johnson's honour in the Cabinet room in June 2020, while restrictions were in place.

Speaking to MPs today (Tuesday 19 April), Johnson said: "Let me begin in all humility by saying that on the 12 April I received a fixed penalty notice relating to an event in Downing Street… I paid the fine immediately and I offered the British people a full apology and I take this opportunity... to repeat my wholehearted apology to the House.

Boris Johnson.

"As soon as I received the notice, I acknowledged the hurt and the anger and I said that people had a right to expect better of their prime minister, and I repeat that again in the House now.

"Let me also say, not by way of mitigation or excuse but purely because it explains my previous words in this House, that 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. I repeat, that was my mistake and I apologise for it unreservedly.

"I respect the outcome of the police investigation which is still underway. I can only say that I will respect their decision-making and always take the appropriate steps, and as the House will know, I have already taken significant steps to change the way things work in Number 10," Johnson continued.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the House of Commons, opened the proceedings this afternoon by announcing that MPs would get to vote on claims Johnson lied to parliament this Thursday (21 April), following a number of MPs – including Labour leader Keir Starmer – writing to him about the matter.

Officer outside 10 Downing Street.

Hoyle said: "Scheduling the debate for Thursday will, I hope, give members an opportunity to consider the motion and the response to it.

"The motion will appear on Thursday’s order paper to be taken after any urgent questions or statements. Hopefully there won’t be any."

Ahead of MPs returning to the House of Commons after an Easter recess, a Downing Street source told The Telegraph that Johnson would ‘offer a full-throated apology and recognise the strength of feeling’ among MPs about rule-breaking at Number 10 during the pandemic. 

However, they said he was unlikely to go into detail about the specifics of his involvement in any other parties. 

The source added: "He will obviously give an update on the fine because there is a clear need to do that, but it is difficult to pre-empt the findings of an ongoing police investigation publicly." 


Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis suggested that Johnson being fined for breaking coronavirus rules is similar to other ministers receiving speeding fines. 

Lewis said other ministers – including former prime minister Tony Blair – had received fixed-penalty notices (FPN) and remained in office. 

The former Conservative Party chairman told Sky News: “I think we do see consistently, whether it is through parking fines or speeding fines, ministers of both parties over the years have been in that position. 

“We’ve had prime ministers in the past who have received penalty notices, from what I can see, and also front bench ministers. 

“I saw there was a parking notice that Tony Blair had once. We’ve seen front bench Labour ministers and, let’s be frank, Government ministers as well.” 

Sky News

He added: “You’ve asked me, can someone who sets the laws and the rules, can they also be someone who breaks the rules? 

“That clearly has happened with a number of ministers over the years.” 

When asked about his choice of response on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Lewis replied: “I’m not in any way trying to equate a speeding ticket with the sacrifices people have made through Covid.” 

Speaking on Lorraine earlier today, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: "I have never had anybody break down in front of me because they couldn't drive at 35mph in a 30mph zone; I have had no end of people in tears – in real bits – about complying with rules that really, really hurt them." 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Boris Johnson, UK News, Politics, Coronavirus