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Downing Street has apologised to Buckingham Palace after it emerged parties were held in Number 10 the day before the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral last year.
Two gatherings reportedly took place at Downing Street, with the Prime Minister’s former director of communications James Slack apologising for the “anger and hurt” one of the events – a leaving do held for him – had caused.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister confirmed No.10 has said sorry to the Palace.
The spokesman said: “It is deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning and No 10 has apologised to the Palace.
“You heard from the PM this week, he’s recognised No.10 should be held to the highest standards, and take responsibility for things we did not get right.”
The day after the events on April 16 2021, the Queen attended her husband Philip’s funeral wearing a face mask and socially distanced from her family at Windsor Castle, in line with Covid restrictions.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman said Boris Johnson was at his country residence Chequers on April 16 and had not been invited to the events.
Asked why No 10 had apologised rather than Mr Johnson himself, his spokesman said: “Well, again, the Prime Minister said earlier misjudgments have been made and it’s right people apologise, as the PM did earlier this week.”
It is understood the apology had been delivered via a telephone call through official channels.
But Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, said Mr Johnson should also be offering the Queen his resignation.
He said: “The Conservatives have let Britain down. An apology isn’t the only thing the Prime Minister should be offering the palace today.
Cabinet minister Michael Gove denied that the Prime Minister should tender his resignation, however.
The Levelling Up Secretary told ITV News during a visit to Manchester the public “deserve the truth” and said changes in Government were likely to be needed following the publication of Ms Gray’s report, but rejected a suggestion Mr Johnson should quit as part of the shake-up.
It comes after Mr Slack, who until last year was Mr Johnson’s director of communications, apologised on Friday morning for the “anger and hurt” his leaving party had caused.
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