Chancellor Rishi Sunak ‘sincerely sorry’ after breaking lockdown rules at PM's birthday bash

Chancellor Rishi Sunak was fined £50 by police for breaking lockdown rules. Credit: HMT

Rishi Sunak has said he is “extremely and sincerely sorry” after police fined him for breaking lockdown rules by attending Boris Johnson's birthday gathering in June 2020.

The chancellor said he wanted to apologise for "the hurt and the anger that this has caused so many people", as he accepted the police decision to fine him £50, which he says he has paid.

The prime minister and his wife Carrie were both also fined £50 for breaking Covid laws by attending the 56th birthday celebration, with Mr Johnson under intense scrutiny over whether the fine shows he lied to Parliament.

MPs look set to refer the prime minister for a standards investigation by the Privileges Committee, which will look into whether he committed contempt of Parliament by misleading the House.

Opposition MPs believe he misled them by saying in December last year that he always obeyed coronavirus rules during the pandemic - a claim many critics say has been disproven by the police fine.

Asked during a visit to India whether he knowingly or unknowingly misled Parliament, Mr Johnson said: "Of course not".

Mr Sunak, in Washington for the spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund, said he's "always acted, I believe, in good faith in regard to what I said to Parliament".

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He did not, however, give a direct response when asked whether he offered the prime minister his resignation after being fined.

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.

The chancellor said he "fully respect[s] the decision that the police have reached,” in regards to the fine.

“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."