"I accept in all sincerity that people had a right to expect better."
From the PM's statement and apology on parties at Downing Street. The full text of his apology and statement is as follows:
"Today I have received a fixed penalty notice from the Metropolitan Police relating to an event in Downing Street on 19th June 2020, and let me say immediately that I have paid the fine and I once again offer a full apology.
And in a spirit of openness and humility, I want to be completely clear about what happened on that date.
My day began shortly after 7am, and I chaired eight meetings in No10, including the Cabinet Committee deciding Covid strategy, I visited a school in Hemel Hempstead, which took me out of Downing Street for over four hours.
And amongst all these engagements, on a day that happened to be my birthday, there was a brief gathering in the Cabinet Room shortly after 2pm, lasting for less than 10 minutes, during which people I work with kindly passed on their good wishes.
And I have to say in all frankness, at the time, it did not occur to me that this might have been a breach of the rules.
But of course the police have found otherwise and I fully respect the outcome of their investigation.
I understand the anger that many will feel that I myself fell short when it came to observing the very rules which the Government I lead had introduced to protect the public, and I accept in all sincerity that people had a right to expect better.
Now I feel an even greater sense of obligation to deliver on the priorities of the British people:
- strengthening our economy,
- creating jobs and opportunities,
- levelling up the whole United Kingdom,
- now, of course, ensuring that Putin fails in Ukraine, and easing the burden imposed on hard-working families caused by higher energy prices.
I will take forward that task with due humility, but with maximum determination to fulfil my duty and do what is best for the country I serve."
(This statement was published on 12 April 2022.)