Boris Johnson has apologised after admitting that he attended a Downing Street garden drinks party during the first lockdown.
Addressing the Commons under intense pressure from MPs, including those on his own government benches, to confirm whether he attended a drinks gathering at Number 10 on 20 May 2020, the prime minister said he had “learned enough to know there were things we simply did not get right”.
“I must take responsibility,” he added.
Downing Street had refused to say if Mr Johnson was present at the event, but Sky News understands he and his now wife were among around 40 people to attend at a time when such gatherings were banned.
The PM has previously said it is a matter for Sue Gray, the senior civil servant investigating a series of reported parties in Downing Street and elsewhere in Whitehall over the course of 2020, to determine what happened.
Earlier on Wednesday, Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner told Sky News Mr Johnson’s position as PM is “completely untenable” as he “not only broke the rules, but he’s lied to the British public”.
The Liberal Democrats had this morning called for the prime minister to resign, saying he has “become a threat to the health of our nation”.
Some Conservative MPs have publicly expressed their frustrations at Mr Johnson’s failure to address the allegations until now, with Paymaster General Michael Ellis sent to respond on his behalf to an emergency Commons question on the issue on Tuesday.
Speaking to Kay Burley, senior Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood called on Mr Johnson to “act now and apologise for Number 10’s poor judgement”.
Another Conservative, Christian Wakeford, who represents the former “red wall” seat Bury South, said the reports of the 20 May Downing Street party are “indefensible” and “embarrassing”.
On Tuesday, two opinion polls suggested the public was turning on the PM, amid increasing anger at the claims.