THE PRIME Minister has faced numerous calls to quit his post after admitting he attended a lockdown-busting garden party in his own back yard. 

Boris Johnson was grilled by MPs today during Prime Minister's Questions, where he apologised repeatedly for the event on May 20, 2020. 

Prior to the question session starting, Mr Johnson stunned his own MPs and delighted the opposition when he admitted he had attended the 'socially-distanced' drinks reception.

He said he had attended for 25 minutes and he believed it to be a work event, which prompted laughter and shouts from the opposition. 

In his statement, Mr Johnson said: "When I went into that garden just after 6[pm] on May 20 2020, to thank groups of staff before going back into my office 25 minutes later to continue working, I believed implicitly that this was a work event.

“With hindsight I should have sent everyone back inside. I should have found some other way to thank them."

He said that the event "could be said technically to fall within the guidance" but added: "there are millions and millions of people who simply would not see it that way, people who have suffered terribly, people who were forbidden from meeting loved ones at all inside or outside, and to them and to this House I offer my heartfelt apologies." 

Labour leader Keir Starmer said Mr Johnson must now "do the decent thing and resign”.

Sir Keir, who has returned to the Commons after having contracted covid last week, said: "After months of deceit and deception, the pathetic spectacle of a man who has run out of road. His defence … that he didn’t realise he was at a party is so ridiculous that it’s actually offensive to the British public." 

Ian Blackford, the SNP's Westminster leader, also backed the calls for him to resign and said Mr Johnson had "no sense of shame”.

Mr Blackford said that while the public “suffered pain and anguish”, the Prime Minister “was drinking and laughing behind the walls of his private garden”.

He added: “The public overwhelmingly think that the Prime Minister should resign.

“Trust has been lost and the public will not forgive or forget. If the Prime Minister has no sense of shame, then the Tory backbenchers must act to remove him.”

The Prime Minister replied: “I just want to thank the right honourable gentleman for his political advice, which I will take with a pinch of salt since it comes from the Scottish Nationalist Party.

“I think that most people looking objectively at what this Government has delivered over the last 18 months would agree that … and I renew my contrition for the mistakes that have been made, but we have delivered the fastest vaccine and the fastest booster rollout in Europe, and the result is that across our whole of our United Kingdom, we have the record number of people back in work.”

The Labour party's Chris Bryant asked if the Prime Minister thought the public were stupid, and accused him of scapegoating his staff.

He said: "So, the Prime Minister didn’t spot that he was at a social event. That’s the excuse isn’t it? Come off it.

“I mean how stupid does the Prime Minister think the British people are. The worst of it is he’s already managed to completely destroy Allegra Stratton’s career, he’s tarnished the reputation of Lord Geidt, and now he’s making fools of every single MP who cheered him earlier, every single one who goes out on the radio and television to defend this shower of shenanigans.

“Would it not be absolutely despicable if, in the search for a scapegoat, some junior member of staff ends up losing their job, but he kept his?”

The Prime Minister said: “I’m grateful to him for his party political advice. I don’t agree with him. I’ve come to this House to make amends, to explain what happened on May 20, and to apologise.

“I really think that with all humility I must ask him to wait for the result of the inquiry, where he will have abundant opportunity to question me again and to make his party political points again. But, until then, I’m going to ignore his advice.”