Suffolk MP backs prime minister's 'sincere' apology over BYOB event

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey arrives in Downing Street, London

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey has tweeted in support of the prime minister after he apologised over a "bring your own booze" event held in the garden of No 10 Downing Street. - Credit: PA

A Suffolk MP has described the prime minister's apology over the "bring your own booze" event held during the first coronavirus lockdown as "sincere".

Therese Coffey, Suffolk Coastal MP and boss of the Department for Work and Pensions, was sat close to Boris Johnson as he admitted he had attended a gathering in the garden of No 10 Downing Street during the first coronavirus lockdown and apologised.

The PM insisted he thought the party was work-related, but said he recognised “with hindsight I should have sent everyone back inside”.

He said an inquiry headed by senior official Sue Gray was examining the situation but accepted “there were things we simply did not get right and I must take responsibility”.

Dr Coffey did not respond to requests for comment from this newspaper.

But yesterday evening Dr Coffey tweeted in support of the prime minister.

She wrote: "I was at [Prime Minister's Questions] today. I saw how sincere the PM was and I know how he has worked tirelessly to tackle coronavirus, striving to protect lives and livelihoods."

Some Tory MPs called for the prime minister to resign and other cabinet ministers were also slow to come out in support of the prime minister, with the late interventions of Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Chancellor Rishi Sunak – both tipped as potential successors – doing little to instil confidence in his future.

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