Boris Johnson has faced fresh demands to resign after the publication of Sue Gray’s report into illegal parties held in Downing Street during the coronavirus pandemic.
The senior official said the public would be “appalled” by the behavior uncovered.
His report was published on the UK government’s website on Wednesday morning ahead of PMQs.
It included “multiple instances” of disrespect and mistreatment by cleaning and security staff at No 10, according to the report.
Gray condemned the culture that had been able to develop under the leadership of the prime minister.
And she stressed that the senior management of No 10 must “take responsibility” for this culture.
Johnson addressed the report in a statement he made in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
The prime minister said he takes “full responsibility” for everything that happened under his watch.
He also once again apologized for the rallies held during the pandemic, telling MPs he had been ‘humbled’ by the experience and had learned his lesson.
In the report, a series of photographs were released, one of which shows Johnson lifting what appears to be a can of beer in the Cabinet Room.
He was joined by Cabinet Secretary Simon Case and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the photos show.
Other photos include previously seen footage of Johnson raising a glass of wine during a departure for his former spin doctor Lee Cain on November 13, 2020.
Among its findings, the Gray report gave details of rallies in which officials drank so much they were sick and sang karaoke.
And he said some got involved in altercations and abused security and cleaning staff at a time when millions of people across the country couldn’t see their friends and family.
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer told the Commons the report ‘laid bare the rot’ in No 10 and called on Tory MPs to tell Boris Johnson ‘the game is over’ and that it’s “time to pack”.
“We waited for Sue Gray’s report. The country cannot wait any longer,” Starmer said.
“The value symbolized by the door of number 10 must be restored. The members opposite must finally do their part, they must tell the current resident, their leader, that his has gone on too long.
” The game is over. You cannot be a lawgiver and a law breaker.
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford called the report “damning” and called on the Prime Minister to resign for “orchestrating” the Downing Street scenes.
“The Prime Minister is shaming the office and has shown contempt not just for members of this House, but for everyone who followed the rules,” he added.
The Prime Minister will address the public at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon and then face Tory MPs who will ultimately decide his fate in a private meeting in Parliament.
Backbench MP Tobias Ellwood, a prominent critic of the Prime Minister, challenged Mr Johnson over the ‘damning report’ which revealed an ‘absence of leadership, focus and discipline in No 10’.
He asked his fellow Tories “are you prepared day in and day out to publicly defend this behavior” and asked, “Can we win the general election on this current trajectory?” »
Johnson also did not deny asking Sue Gray not to publish her report.
Tory MP Aaron Bell pressed the Prime Minister on the issue following newspaper reports.
“When I asked the Prime Minister about Sue Gray’s interim findings on January 31, he asked me to wait for the inquiry report. He asked many members that day to do the same,” Bell told the Commons.
“Afterwards, he asked the media to wait for the conclusions of the report. And he knows that many colleagues on these benches have told their constituents that they are waiting for the investigation report.
“So I was very surprised to read in the Times the indication that he might have asked Sue Gray not to publish the report at all. Is there any truth to that suggestion of the prime minister?
Johnson replied, “What Sue Gray has published is entirely for Sue Gray and it is an entirely independent report.”
Following the Prime Minister’s statement in the Commons, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said Boris Johnson had his “full support”.
“I understand people are angry about what happened in Downing Street,” Jack said.
“The Prime Minister apologized again today and made it clear that he takes full responsibility for what happened in Number 10. Lessons have been learned and changes have been made within of number 10.
“The Prime Minister has my full support. He tackles the rising cost of living in his country and leads the international response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“Now we all need to back him up and support him in dealing with these important issues.”
Main conclusions of the Sue Gray report
– Staff continued to drink at No 10 until the early morning hours on the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral, with the last recorded departure at 4.20am.
– Johnson joined five advisers at a ‘food and drink’ event at his Downing Street flat the night Dominic Cummings’ departure as chief adviser was announced.
– Former property and ethics chief Helen MacNamara provided a karaoke machine for a Cabinet Office gathering where one person was ill and there was a ‘minor altercation’ between two others.
– The Prime Minister’s then-senior adviser Martin Reynolds bragged “we seem to have gotten away with ‘garden partying with your own booze’ in a WhatsApp message to a special adviser.
– Johnson brought cheese and wine to the garden gathering on May 15, 2020 from his own apartment.