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'Humbled' Johnson apologises for partygate

London: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday issued another apology over partygate after a damning inquiry report into breaches of Coronavirus lockdown rules at Downing Street concluded "leadership failures" were behind a culture of rule-breaking within UK government offices, triggering renewed Opposition calls for his resignation.

Making a statement in the House of Commons soon after senior civil servant Sue Gray's findings were published and addressing a press conference from Downing Street after that, Johnson said he took full responsibility for everything that happened and said all the senior management has changed within Downing Street since the time of those rule-breaking parties in 2020-2021.

Amid jeers and shouts from the Opposition benches, the prime minister insisted his statement is aimed at setting out the context, not to mitigate or excuse what happened.

I am humbled and I have learned a lesson I also want to say above all that I take full responsibility for everything that took place on my watch," Johnson told parliamentarians.

"Whatever the failing of No. 10 [Downing Street] and the Cabinet Office throughout this difficult period and my own, I continue to believe the civil servants and advisers... are good, hard working people motivated... to do the very best for our country," he said. In Parliament and in his interaction with journalists later, Johnson went on to explain how he thought it was "appropriate" to thank staff who were leaving for the work they had done, with reference to a particular farewell drinks party that was found to have been in breach of COVID rules.

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