UK's PM 'sorry' for 'partygate' findings, vows to stay on

AFP , Monday 31 Jan 2022

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday apologized in parliament for a series of lockdown-breaching parties identified in an official inquiry but vowed to fight on in the office.

 Boris Johnson
Britain s Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves from 10 Downing Street to make a statement to MPs in the House of Commons following the publication of the Gray report, in central London on January 31, 2022. AP

Fending off new opposition calls to resign following senior civil servant Sue Gray's report, he vowed administrative changes to his Downing Street operation.

"I'm sorry for the things that we simply didn't get right, and also sorry for the way this matter has been handled," Johnson said.

"I get it, and I will fix it," he said.

"Yes, we can be trusted to deliver," Johnson added, stressing his post-Brexit agenda and action against Russia over its threats to Ukraine.

"I am going to get on with the job."

Gray admitted her 12-page report was limited in scope after London's Metropolitan police force launched its own investigation into 12 parties held in Downing Street over the past two years.

While Johnson said all sides should await the Met's own findings, opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer said the police involvement was "a mark of shame".

"He is a man without shame," Starmer said, urging Johnson's Conservative cabinet allies to depose him instead of "supporting further misconduct, cover-up, and deceit".

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