Boris Johnson Confirms He Was At Downing Street Christmas Party But Says He Didn’t Know It Was A Party

Jesse Williams

By Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

12 Jan 2022

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted to attending the controversial Christmas party at the Downing Street garden during lockdown but insists he didn’t know it was a party.

Johnson apologised for what he claims to have thought was a “work event” during PMQs.

“I want to apologise,” he said. “I know that millions of people across this country have made extraordinary sacrifices over the last 18 months,”

“I know the anguish that they have been through, unable to mourn their relatives, unable to live their lives as they want, or to do the things they love.”

The prime minister admitted he “went into that garden just after 6pm on 20 May 2020 to thank groups of staff” before going back into his office “25 minutes later”.

“I believed implicitly that this was a work event,” he told the Commons.

Sir Keir Starmer called for Mr Johnson to “do the decent thing and resign”, describing the excuse as “so ridiculous that it is actually offensive to the British people”.

“When the prime minister’s former health secretary broke the rules, he resigned and the prime minister said he was right to do so,”

“When the prime minister’s spokesperson laughed about the rules being broken, she resigned and the prime minister accepted that resignation. Why does the prime minister still think that the rules don’t apply to him?”

A leaked email showed over 100 No.10 staff were invited to a drinks gathering in the rose garden of Downing Street on 20 May, 2020, while the country was still subject to strict Covid lockdown restrictions.