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Number 10 Downing Street has issued a formal apology to Buckingham Palace for hosting two parties the night before Prince Philip’s funeral during a time of national mourning.
The gatherings, first reported by The Telegraph, took place on 16 April 2021 and went on until the early hours of the morning and this Number 10 apology to the Queen comes after an investigation by senior civil servant Sue Gray into other parties at Downing Street.
The PM’s spokesman said it was “deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning”.
The Prime Minister claimed in the House of Commons during PMQ’s earlier this week that he believed a garden party held amid lockdown back on 20th May 2020 was “a work event”.
He told the Members of Parliament, “When I went into that garden just after six on May 20 2020, to thank groups of staff before going back into my office 25 minutes later to continue working, I believed implicitly that this was a work event.
“With hindsight I should have sent everyone back inside. I should have found some other way to thank them.”
And this Number 10 apology to the Queen has led to a backlash from opposition parties, who contrasted the behaviour of No 10 staff with pictures of the Queen sitting alone at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral, due to Covid restrictions.
She was also restricted to 30 guests at the funeral.
A petition calling for his resignation has been circulated on social media.
The two staff get-togethers, on 16 April last year, have been added to the list of parties in government buildings being investigated by senior civil servant Sue Gray.
Boris Johnson has so far refused to resign, as he is awaiting the outcome of the investigation.
And it’s another blow for the Queen, who stripped Prince Andrew of his royal patronages and military titles.