UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office on Friday apologized to the royal family for holding staff parties in Downing Street on the eve of Prince Philip's funeral last year, when COVID-19 rules barred indoor socializing.
"It is deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning and Number 10 has apologized to the Palace," Xinhua News Agency reported quoting a spokesperson for British Prime Minister on Friday.
This came as reports about a string of lockdown-breaching gatherings organized by Downing Street officials over the past two years have enraged the British public and threatened Johnson's premiership.
On Wednesday Johnson apologized for attending a Downing Street garden party during the country's first lockdown in 2020.
At the weekly session of Prime Minister's Questions at the House of Commons (lower house of the British Parliament), Johnson admitted that he attended the gathering in the back garden of 10 Downing Street on May 20, 2020.
The prime minister conceded: "With hindsight, I should have sent everyone back inside. I should have found some other way to thank them."
Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labour Party, raged against Johnson's "ridiculous" apology, saying the prime minister's excuse that he "did not realize he was at a party" was "offensive" to the British public.
Starmer urged Johnson to "do the decent thing and resign."
In response, Johnson insisted that everyone should wait until the inquiry by Sue Gray, the senior civil servant tasked with investigating the reported party in Downing Street, has concluded before questioning further on the matter.
The Prime Minister's comments came after days of outrage after new evidence about the illicit gathering emerged. The rules in England were clear enough during that lockdown as no indoor and outdoor gathering was allowed. (ANI)