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Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said he is “extremely and sincerely sorry” for the hurt he caused by his attendance at a birthday gathering for Boris Johnson during lockdown.
Mr Sunak, in Washington for the spring meeting of the IMF, said he respected the decision of the police in deciding to fine him for a breach of Covid rules over the event in June 2020.
He denied, however, that he had considered resigning last week when he, along with Mr Johnson, received a fixed-penalty notice (FPN).
“I fully respect the decision that the police have reached,” he told the BBC.
“I paid the FPN notice straightaway and I am extremely and sincerely sorry for the hurt and the anger that this has caused so many people.
“I have always acted, I believe, in good faith in regard to what I said to Parliament.”
Asked if he had considered resigning, he said: “No. I am focused on getting on with the job I have got to do.”
It was reported that Mr Sunak had to be talked out of quitting after it took around seven hours for him to issue an apology following his receipt last week of a FPN.