BORIS Johnson has once again claimed he thought a "bring your own booze" party at 10 Downing Street was a "work event". 

A masked Johnson today revealed he had spoken with Sue Gray's internal inquiry into "partygate" and apologised again for "misjudgements" made at the top levels of government.

The Prime Minister denied lying to Parliament about a gathering in No 10’s garden during the first lockdown despite Dominic Cummings saying he would swear on oath that he warned the Prime Minister it would be a rule-breaking drinks party.

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Johnson said he had told the Whitehall inquiry into the allegations that to the “best of my recollection” ahead of the May 20 2020 event “nobody told me that what we were doing was against the rules”.

The Prime Minister is facing calls to resign over the scandal, including from six Tory MPs.

He made his first public appearance after reducing his contacts from when No 10 said a family member tested positive for Covid-19 last week, as Chancellor Rishi Sunak refused to give the Prime Minister his unequivocal backing.

Asked if he had lied to Parliament over the parties during a visit to a north London hospital, Johnson said: “No. I want to begin by repeating my apologies to everybody for the misjudgments that I’ve made, that we may have made in No 10 and beyond, whether in Downing Street or throughout the pandemic.

The National:

“Nobody told me that what we were doing was against the rules, that the event in question was something that … was not a work event, and as I said in the House of Commons when I went out into that garden I thought that I was attending a work event.”

Johnson said he “could not imagine why on earth it would have gone ahead, or why it would’ve been allowed to go ahead” if he had been told it was not a “work event”.

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“I do humbly apologise to people for misjudgments that were made but that is the very, very best of my recollection about this event, that’s what I’ve said to the inquiry,” he said.

While the Prime Minster lives in No 10 and would have been allowed to drink in his own back garden, other attendees who had been invited "to make the most of the lovely weather" with "socially distanced drinks" would not. 

Just a week before the Downing Street gathering, the government issued a statement announcing that it had increased the fines that would be issued for breaking the rules. 

Fines in England and Wales were increased to £100, doubling on every repeated offence to a maximum of £3200.