Boris Johnson 'Sickened' by Leaked Video of No 10 Staff Joking About Lockdown Christmas Party

© AFP 2022 / -A video grab from footage broadcast by the UK Parliament's Parliamentary Recording Unit (PRU) shows British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking during Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs), in the House of Commons in London on December 8, 2021.
A video grab from footage broadcast by the UK Parliament's Parliamentary Recording Unit (PRU) shows British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking during Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs), in the House of Commons in London on December 8, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.12.2021
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Earlier, footage was made public showing the Downing Street staff joking about a lockdown Christmas party in 2020 that Johnson refused to acknowledge had taken place.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has apologised for a leaked video showing his staffers joking about reports of a party in Downing Street during the coronavirus lockdown.
"I was furious to see that clip," Johnson reportedly told parliament on Wednesday.
"I apologise unreservedly for the offence that it has caused up and down the country and I apologise for the impression that it gives...But I repeat ... that I have been repeatedly assured since these allegations emerged, that there was no party and that no COVID rules were broken."
Boris Johnson
UK Prime Minister
The prime minister added that he has asked his cabinet to establish facts concerning the leaked video and said that if rules were broken there will be action for everyone involved.
"While the prime minister's staff were laughing about covering up a party, British people were unable to bid farewell to their dying relatives," UK Labour Party leader Keir Starmer told parliament, as quoted by Reuters.
Starmer accused Johnson of "taking the public for fools" by denying that some members of his staff enjoyed a party at a time when coronavirus restrictions banned such gatherings.
"The prime minister has been caught red-handed," the Labour Party leader reportedly said.
Johnson responded by urging his opponents not to "play politics" over the leaked video.
"I know that the implication that he is trying to draw, that the case that we're now investigating somehow should undermine public confidence in the measures that we are taking. But I may say to him ... I think it is a grave mistake to try to play politics with this issue," the prime minister said.
He added that he will "get on with the job" despite the opposition trying to "muddy the waters about events or non-events of a year ago".
Britain's Justice Secretary Dominic Raab walks outside Downing Street in London, Britain November 30, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.12.2021
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Today's exchange of emotional remarks between Johnson and Starmer came after a video emerged revealing that some members of the Downing Street staff were joking about a lockdown Christmas party in 2020 when such gatherings were banned. In the video leaked by ITV News, Johnson's senior aides can be heard laughingly discussing "cheese and wine" at the future party while helping the prime minister's then spokeswoman, Allegra Stratton, to get ready for a daily media briefing.
Previously, Boris Johnson faced criticism from his opponents during Prime Minister's Questions after The Mirror had reported that he and his aides attended at least two parties at No.10 during coronavirus-related lockdown last year.
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