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Boris Johnson denies being warned that ‘BYOB party’ was a potential breach of the Covid-19 rules

Johnson continues to face criticism from politicians and the public over several parties allegedly held on 10 Downing Street, which is now under investigation.
Last week, Johnson was forced to apologize after it emerged that his primary private secretary, Martin Reynolds, had sent an invitation to more than 100 Downing Street employees for "socially distant drinks in Garden No. 10" on the 20th. May 2020.

At that time, people in England were forbidden to meet with more than one other person outdoors and they would be legally punished for doing so. In workplaces, the official guide stated that personal meetings should only take place if "absolutely necessary". In his apology, Johnson admitted to having attended the meeting, but said, "I implicitly thought this was a work event."

But on Monday, Johnson's outspoken former senior adviser Dominic Cummings claimed he would swear under oath that the prime minister was being warned about the true nature of the drinking party.

In response to these allegations Tuesday, Johnson insisted he could not fathom that "we would have gone ahead with an event that people said was against the rules," adding that he did not see the invitation to the party sent by Reynolds.

Is 'partygate' a scandal too much for Boris Johnson?

"No one warned me it was against the rules ... because I wanted to remember it," Johnson stressed.

Johnson added that "if I had had my time again, I would not have let things develop that way," and said he would have asked the group gathered outside on May 20 to come indoors or told them "this is not the right way". to do things. "

The prime minister continued to focus on the investigation of the parties, which was carried out by senior official Sue Gray, saying she "should have room to move on and complete her investigation" and urged anyone with memories of the events to speak to her.

Johnson added that it "was not up to me to decide who she would interview," when he answered a question about whether Cummings should be part of the process.

Because of Gray's position as an unelected official, her report is unlikely to directly accuse the prime minister of breaking any rules and is likely to be more of a factual report on her investigation into what happened.

Johnson also declined to comment on whether he would resign from his post if the investigation shows he was misleading the British Parliament.

He stressed that "we have to see what the report says," adding that "we can not predict what the conclusion of this study will be."

Johnson also used the occasion Tuesday to "repeat my deep apologies to people for mistakes that may have been made on my watch."


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