UK’s Johnson apologizes for lockdown garden party

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) addresses reporters during his visit to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, September 22, 2021.
Greg Nash

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologized at the House of Commons on Wednesday for attending a garden party at the height of COVID-19 lockdowns. 

After the prime minister said he was unaware of parties at 10 Downing Street, he admitted that his private secretary organized a “bring your own booze” catered party in May 2020 as citizens were forced to skip other events like school, work and funerals, according to The Washington Post

“I want to apologize,” Johnson said Wednesday. “I know millions of people across this country have made extraordinary sacrifices over the last 18 months.”

“I know the anguish that they have been through, unable to mourn their relatives, unable to live their lives as they want, or to do the things they love,” he added, according to the Post. “And I know the rage they feel with me, and with the government I lead, when they think that in Downing Street itself, they think the rules are not being followed by the people who make the rules.”

The invitation to the party published this week by ITV news said that “after what has been an incredibly busy period,” it would “be nice to make the most of the lovely weather and have some socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden this evening.”

“In hindsight, I should have sent everyone back inside, and I should have found some other way to thank them,” the prime minister added in his apology on Wednesday.

Recently, the United Kingdom has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases, which have increased by 37 percent in the past two weeks. The country reported an average of 155,868 daily cases in the last week, according to The New York Times.

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