Oxford Mail readers have been reacting to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s apology for a staff garden party at 10 Downing Street on May 20 during lockdown in 2020.

Mr Johnson told the House of Commons he had attended the garden party on May 20.

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He said: “Number 10 is a big department with the garden as an extension of the office, which has been in constant use because of the role of fresh air and stopping the virus.

“And when I went into that garden just after 6pm on 20 May 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.

“But Mr Speaker, with hindsight, I should have sent everyone back inside.

“I should have found some other way to thank them and I should have recognised that even if it could be said technically to fall within the guidance, there would be millions and millions of people who simply would not see it that way.

“People who 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.”

Mr Johnson is now facing calls from some Conservative MPs to resign.

But cabinet ministers have defended him, saying MPs should wait for the outcome of an inquiry.

Oxford MPs Anneliese Dodds and Layla Moran called for Mr Johnson to resign, labelling his apology ‘pathetic’.

Readers have been giving their reaction on the Oxford Mail’s Facebook page.

PAUL WORTH: “Could be worse, could’ve taken us to a war without cause and got a knighthood.”

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ADRIAN GIDNEY: “I can can honestly say the sheep on the Welsh hillside would make a better noise than that bunch of nincompoops so called leading our country, and guess what, they are your choice.”

ANDREW HAMILTON: “I certainly wouldn’t want Moran running things thank you very much.”

GRANVILLE SMITH: “What happened in the past happened. I guess many broke the law during this period. What is important is now and in the future not only for the UK bur the world.

“The Oxford MPs should be concentrating on their constituents needs, not what their party tells them.

“Rebuild the city centre, build facilities which people can use, forget the past look to the future. At the end of the day the people will decide who will sit in Parliament, councils etc.

“Politicians at all levels should remember they are elected to serve the people not to serve themselves or to gain Brownie points.”

MICHAEL GAMA: “To be honest if they (the Oxford MPs) didn’t say he should resign, I would be worried about them more.”

ANDREA SERMAN: “They complain when he doesn’t as apologise, complain when he does.”

Oxford Mail readers also reacted after only one of four Conservative MPs in the county responded when asked for a reaction to Mr Johnson’s apology.

Victoria Prentis, MP for Banbury, initially responded to say she had “no capacity for media due to urgent ministerial commitments and meetings” before giving a more detailed response.

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OXFORD MAIL READER: “Sadly, this (lack of) response is completely as expected.

“They lack the moral fibre to say what they really think of the abhorrent actions of this Prime Minister.

“They will, as usual, wait to see which way the wind is blowing among their braver colleagues, before declaring where they stand.

“They are more concerned for their own careers than in doing what is right. Plus ca change.”

OXFORD MAIL READER: “Do they realise Boris actions and attitude are reflected on the whole party - the longer this is prolonged the worse the next election will be!”

OXFORD MAIL READER: “Well, I suppose that is marginally better than trying to trot out some sort of rubbish to back the lying chancer.”

PETE BOND: “Typical arrogant Tories. They forget they answer to the people.”

OXFORD MAIL READER: “Such a shame that they don’t seem to realise, or care, that their lack of action/response is speaking volumes.”