Boris Johnson’s House of Commons statement – the key quotes

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has apologised to the House of Commons after he received a fixed penalty notice from the Metropolitan Police for breaching Covid rules.

Here are the key quotes from Mr Johnson’s statement to MPs.

– Boris Johnson

“As soon as I received the notice, I acknowledged the hurt and anger and I said that people had a right to expect better of their Prime Minister – and I repeat that, Mr Speaker, again in the House now.

“Let me also say, not by way of mitigation or excuse but purely because it explains my previous words in this House, that it did not occur to me then or subsequently that a gathering in the Cabinet Room just before a vital meeting on Covid strategy could amount to a breach of the rules.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in the House of Commons
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer (House of Commons/PA)

“I repeat that was my mistake and I apologise for it unreservedly.”

– Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to the “many decent honourable” Conservative MPs

“They know the damage the Prime Minister is doing, they know things can’t go on as they are, and they know it’s their responsibility to bring an end to this shameful chapter.

“Today I urge them once again, don’t follow in the slipstream of an out-of-touch, out-of-control Prime Minister.

“Put their conscience first, put their country first, put John Robinson (who was unable to be with his dying wife due to Covid rules) first, and remove the Prime Minister from office.

Conservative former chief whip Mark Harper
Conservative former chief whip Mark Harper (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

“Bring decency, honesty and integrity back into our politics and stop the denigration of everything that this country stands for.”

– Boris Johnson in reply to Sir Keir Starmer

“I apologise once again profusely to John Robinson, to all those who lost loved ones, particularly those who suffered during the pandemic.

– Former Conservative chief whip Mark Harper

“I regret to say that we have a Prime Minister who broke the laws that he told the country they had to follow, hasn’t been straightforward about it, and is now going to ask the decent men and women on these benches to defend what I think is indefensible.

“I’m very sorry to have to say this, but I no longer think he is worthy of the great office that he holds.”

– Ian Blackford, SNP Westminster leader

“A lawbreaking Prime Minister – just dwell on this – a Prime Minister who has broken the law and remains under investigation over additional lawbreaking. Not just a lawbreaker, a serial offender. If he has any decency, any dignity, he would not just apologise, he would resign.”

– Conservative MP Peter Bone

“There is only one issue. Did the Prime Minister deliberately mislead the House? Could I ask the Prime Minister, did you deliberately mislead the House at the despatch box?”

– Mr Johnson, in reply

“No.”

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