Rishi Sunak Offers 'Unreserved Apology' on Partygate, Pays Scotland Yard's Fine

Sunak had breached COVID-19 lockdown rules to attend a birthday party for Prime Minister Boris Johnson in June 2020.

2 min read
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UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Tuesday, 12 April, issued an apology for breaching COVID-19 lockdown rules to attend a birthday party for Prime Minister Boris Johnson in June 2020. The Indian-origin finance minister also paid the fine imposed on him by Scotland Yard for the transgression.

"I can confirm I have received a fixed penalty notice from the Metropolitan Police with regards to a gathering held on June 19 in Downing Street. I offer an unreserved apology," Sunak said.

"I understand that for figures in public office, the rules must be applied stringently in order to maintain public confidence. I respect the decision that has been made and have paid the fine. I know people sacrificed a great deal during COVID, and they will find this situation upsetting. I deeply regret the frustration and anger caused and I am sorry."
UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak

"Like the prime minister, I am focused on delivering for the British people at this challenging time," the chancellor said.

This comes after the UK's Metropolitan Police launched an investigation into alleged lockdown parties attended by Johnson in Downing Street amid COVID-19 restrictions imposed by his government across the country.

It had come to light in January 2022 that Johnson's fiancee, Carrie Symonds, had organised a surprise birthday party for him on 19 June 2020, when the whole country was locked down due to the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time of the surprise birthday party, the lockdown rules were such that indoor gatherings and household mixing were completely banned, and outdoor gatherings were limited to only six people.

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