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Rishi Sunak has said he is "extremely and sincerely sorry" for the upset he caused by attending a lockdown-busting birthday gathering for Boris Johnson.

The chancellor, alongside the prime minister and his wife Carrie Johnson, was issued with a fixed-penalty notice by the Metropolitan Police last week for breaching COVID rules over the event on 19 June 2020.

Speaking in Washington, where he will be attending the spring meeting of the IMF, Mr Sunak apologised for the "hurt and the anger" he had caused over his partygate fine and said he had "always acted in good faith" when discussing the matter in parliament.

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The chancellor also denied that he had considered resigning upon receiving the fixed-penalty notice.

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 after being given the fixed penalty.

"I paid the fixed penalty notice straightaway and I am extremely and sincerely sorry for the hurt and the anger that this has caused so many people.

"I have always acted, I believe, in good faith in regard to what I said to parliament."

Asked if he had considered resigning, he replied: "No. I am focused on getting on with the job I have got to do."

It comes as the PM prepares to face a parliamentary investigation into whether he lied to MPs about Downing Street parties during the coronavirus lockdowns.

Mr Johnson, who last week received a fine for attending a lockdown-busting event to mark his 56th birthday, is thought to have been at more of the 12 events under investigation by Scotland Yard.

Earlier on Thursday, senior Conservative MP Steve Baker declared the PM should be "long gone".

Mr Baker had only two days ago offered the prime minister his backing after he apologised in the Commons following his fine for breaking lockdown rules.

He revealed his change of heart as MPs discussed whether to order an investigation into whether the prime minister misled them over partygate.

But, speaking with Sky’s political editor Beth Rigby in India where he is on a two-day official visit, the PM said he has "absolutely nothing to hide" on partygate.

"People were saying it looks like we are trying to stop stuff. I didn’t want that. I didn’t want people to be able say that. I don’t want this thing to endlessly go on," he said.

"But, I have absolutely nothing, frankly, to hide. If that is what the opposition want to talk about, that is fine."

Asked about Mr Baker publicly calling on him to resign, Mr Johnson added: "I understand people’s feelings. I don’t think that is the right thing to do."

PM: People want us to get on with the job

Pushed on whether the current situation he finds himself in is a serious one, the PM replied: "Of course, I think it is serious.

"But I also think we have massive issues that people expect us to address.

"I think people want us to get on with the job of taking the country forward."

Asked if he believed the Conservatives will allow him to lead the party into the next general election, he replied: "Of course, I am.

"What I am determined to do is make sure we continue with our agenda to unite and level up."

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police have confirmed that they will not issue any further partygate updates before the May local elections.

Scotland Yard told Sky News that the investigation would carry on and officers would continue recommending fines – but the force will not put out media notices on referrals until after the polls on 5 May.

So far, more than 50 fines have been issued in relation to lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street and across Whitehall.

© Sky News 2022