British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday, 25 May, said that he takes full responsibility for attending an illegal party during the COVID-19 lockdown at his Downing Street office in 2020, reported Reuters.
He recalled his previous statement given to the Parliament that guidance was followed at all times and added that he was unaware of breaches at gatherings for departing party members.
Johnson told lawmakers,
“I take full responsibility for everything that took place on my watch... I have been appalled by some of the behaviour.”
'My Attendance Has Not Been Outside the Rules': Johnson
He added, “My attendance at these moments, brief as it was, has not been found to be outside the rules. But clearly this was not the case for some of those gatherings after I had left and other gatherings when I was not even in the building."
However, Johnson said he did not think he had done anything wrong when he attended an office gathering for his birthday in June 2020.
On 12 April, Johnson was fined 50 pounds, thus becoming the first British leader to be fined for breaking the law. Additionally, the police are investigating several other parties in government buildings that Johnson allegedly attended.
Senior civil servant Sue Gray had carried out the investigation into ‘Partygate’ and revealed "multiple examples" of "unacceptable" behaviour towards Downing Street security and cleaning staff.
Gray highlighted occasions when staff were concerned over social distancing protocols due to COVID-19 and asked whether the events should go ahead. However, their concerns were dismissed.
The report said, "I found that some staff had witnessed or been subjected to behaviours at work which they had felt concerned about but at times felt unable to raise properly."
(With inputs from Reuters.)