No10 apologises to Buckingham Palace over parties before Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral


owning Street has apologised to Buckingham Palace for two leaving bashes held in No10 on the night before the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

Downing Street acted after the Prime Minister’s former director of communications himself apologised for the “anger and hurt” caused by the leaving gathering held in Downing Street the night before the Duke’s funeral.

James Slack, who last year left No10 to become deputy editor-in-chief at The Sun, said the party on April 16 2021 “should not have happened at the time that it did”.

Another leaving do took place for a photographer.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “It’s deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning.

“No10 has apologised to the Palace.”

The apology is understood to have been made in a phone call.

The parties took place the night before the Queen attended her husband’s funeral wearing a face mask and socially distanced from her family at Windsor Castle, in line with Covid restrictions.

Pressed on why No10 had apologised, rather than Mr Johnson, the spokesman added: “The Prime Minister said earlier misjudgements had been made and it’s right people apologise. The PM did earlier this week. It remains the case I can’t prejudge the inquiry (by Sue Gray into No10 parties).”

Mr Johnson said sorry for the “bring-your-own-booze” party in the No10 garden on May 20, 2020, when Britain was in lockdown, though he maintains it may have been technically within the rules as he regarded it as a work event.

The PM’s spokesman added that Mr Johnson had not been invited to either of the leaving events.

Responding to the No10 apology to the Palace, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “This shows just how seriously Boris Johnson has degraded the office of Prime Minister.

“The Conservatives have let Britain down. An apology isn’t the only thing the Prime Minister should be offering the Palace today. Boris Johnson should do the decent thing and resign.”


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