The Northern Eire secretary, Brandon Lewis, has insisted the prime minister was “very, very honest” when he apologised for attending an alcohol-fuelled gathering within the Downing Road backyard, however didn’t consider he had damaged the principles.
Boris Johnson informed MPs on Wednesday he thought he was at a “work event” when he dropped into what his personal principal personal secretary had referred to as “socially distanced drinks”.
Lewis informed Sky Information: “The prime minister has outlined that he doesn’t consider that he has executed something outdoors the principles. In the event you take a look at what the investigation finds, folks will be capable to take their very own view of that on the time.”
Johnson’s apology didn’t assuage the considerations of many Conservatives, with the Scottish Tory chief, Douglas Ross, and the senior backbencher William Wragg calling for him to resign.
A number of cupboard ministers, together with the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, have been sluggish to declare their backing for Johnson, with Sunak finally tweeting that the prime minister deserved “endurance” till the civil servant Sue Grey formally reported on the lockdown occasions.
Lewis performed down reviews that Sunak, who was in Devon on the time of Johnson’s public apology, had been lukewarm in his response. “I’ve seen Rishi working with the prime minister. They work completely hand-in-hand. I do know that Rishi has received help for the prime minister,” he stated.
Some MPs had advised Johnson was unrepentant when speaking to colleagues after he apologised to the Home of Commons. However Lewis insisted he was “very, very honest”.
He informed BBC Radio 4’s At present programme that the PM had “made it very clear that, with hindsight, he regrets doing what he did in going out and never simply right away telling the employees to return in however thanking the crew for the work they have been doing.
“He does recognise the anger and upset and frustration that individuals really feel at what they understand occurred at No 10. He recognises that and takes duty. Anyone who seems at what he stated on the dispatch field yesterday will clearly be capable to see that was very, very honest.”
It got here because the prime minister pulled out of an engagement on Thursday after a member of the family examined constructive for Covid.
Johnson would have confronted questions from the media about his attendance on the Downing Road occasion on the deliberate go to to a Lancashire vaccination clinic on Thursday. He pulled out regardless of official steering now not requiring vaccinated contacts of coronavirus circumstances to self-isolate.
A Downing Road spokesperson stated: “The prime minister will now not be visiting Lancashire immediately as a result of a member of the family testing constructive for coronavirus. He’ll comply with the steering for vaccinated shut contacts, together with each day testing and limiting contact with others.”
Lewis performed down reviews that Johnson had informed Conservative MPs within the Commons tea room that he didn’t consider he did something unsuitable and the federal government was undeservedly taking a success.
“I haven’t heard him say that in any respect. I wasn’t within the tea room. So commenting on tittle-tattle that will have come out of the tea room I can’t do,” he informed the At present programme.
Johnson is going through calls from some Conservative MPs to resign. However cupboard ministers have defended him, saying MPs ought to watch for the end result of Grey’s inquiry.
Requested what information the prime minister nonetheless wanted to know, Lewis stated: “We are able to’t know the information we don’t know till the investigation tells us what they’re.”
In the meantime, the deputy Labour chief, Angela Rayner, had written to Johnson and his authorities asking for “full particulars of events” that cupboard ministers could have attended throughout lockdown, the shadow housing secretary, Lisa Nandy, stated.
She stated Johnson “shouldn’t be assured that he’ll survive” the controversy over the Downing Road celebration.