PM apologises over Downing Street party at PMQs, saying ‘I thought it was a work event’

Boris Johnson must “show some contrition” over reports of Downing Street parties, the Tory chairman of the defence select committee urged his party leader this morning.

Tobias Ellwood was appearing on Sky News to discuss Russia and Kazakhstan but, somewhat predictably, the first thing he was asked about were reports of Downing Street parties.

“The party has endured a couple of difficult months, you remember in November and December views were expressed then, both publicly and privately,” he told Kay Burley.

“We’ve got to regroup, we’ve got to upgrade the No 10 machine and rebuild trust with the nation. Yet here we are going back over the same ground, around the very same buoy, following I’m afraid the same old tactics – ‘don’t explain’, ‘don’t apologise’ – hoping it will blow over.

“It’s not blowing over and it’s no longer about the optics in how unfair all this looks. We’re actually spilling into denial that there’s nothing to see here and that’s just compounding matters. So I strongly urge the Prime Minister to act now, to apologise for No 10’s poor judgement, to show some contrition and respond to Sue Gray’s findings when they further come out. We can’t allow things to drift, that is not an option.”

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