Downing Street apologises to the Queen for lockdown parties held on eve of Prince Philip’s funeral

UK

Number 10 has apologised to the Queen over two parties held in Downing Street on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral.

The prime minister’s spokesperson said it was “deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning”.

Earlier on Friday, the prime minister’s former director of communications apologised “unreservedly” for one of the parties on 16 April 2021, which was held to mark his departure from Downing Street.

In a statement released on Friday morning, James Slack said he wanted to “apologise unreservedly for the anger and hurt caused” by the gathering, which is said to have involved 30 Downing Street staff partying into the early hours at Number 10 at a time when indoor mixing was banned.

“This event should not have happened at the time that it did. I am deeply sorry, and take full responsibility,” Mr Slack, who last year left Downing Street to become deputy editor-in-chief at The Sun newspaper, said.

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