Boris Johnson has given his first statement to the public since the news emerged that he, his wife Carrie Johnson, and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak are amongst 30 people issued with fines today for breaking Covid-19 lockdown rules.
The Prime Minister said: "Today I've received a fixed penalty notice from the Metropolitan police relating to a Downing Street Event on 19 June 2020.
"Let me say immediately, I have paid the fine and want to offer a fulsome apology."
Describing the event, he went on: "There was a brief gathering in the Cabinet Room shortly after 2pm lasting less than 10 minutes during which people I worked with passed on their good wishes.
"In that time it did not occur to me this might have been a breach of the rules.
"The police have found otherwise and I fully respect the outcome of their investigation."
The two most senior politicians in the UK were informed by the Metropolitan Police today that they are amongst the latest to be fined.
Around 50 people in total have been handed fixed penalty notices as part of the Met’s investigation into 12 Covid-19 breaching gatherings at Whitehall and Downing Street.
Johnson has previously said that 'all guidance was followed' and that 'no rules were broken'.
Mr Sunak had also stated in the House of Commons that he ‘did not attend any parties’.
Today, a statement from 10 Downing Street said: “The Met police have now explained that the FPN issued to the PM will be in relation to the following incident: ‘On 19th June 2020 at the Cabinet Room 10 Downing Street between 1400 and 1500 you participated in a gathering of two or more people indoors in the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street.’”
Carrie Johnson has confirmed that she has now paid her fine, despite last year stating that it was 'total nonsense' to suggest that parties were held in Downing Street.
A statement said: “Mrs Johnson has paid a Fixed Penalty Notice relating to a gathering on the afternoon of 19 June 2020.
"Whilst she believed that she was acting in accordance with the rules at the time, Mrs Johnson accepts the Metropolitan Police’s findings and apologises unreservedly.”Labour Party leader Keir Starmer has led calls for the resignation of both Prime Minister and Chancellor, tweeting: “Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have broken the law and repeatedly lied to the British public.
“They must both resign.
He added: “The Conservatives are totally unfit to govern. Britain deserves better.”
Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey has also called for the recall of Parliament – which is currently in recess – for a vote of confidence in Johnson.
Davey tweeted: “This is a government in crisis neglecting a country in crisis.
“Parliament must be recalled for a vote of No Confidence in the Prime Minister.”Featured Image Credit: Alamy