WIRRAL South MP Alison McGovern called for Boris Johnson to resign after the Prime Minister apologised for attending a "bring your own booze" gathering in the garden of No 10 during England's first lockdown.

The Prime Minister acknowledged the public "rage" over the incident but insisted he thought it could have been technically within the rules.

Mr Johnson told MPs that he attended the May 20 2020 gathering for around 25 minutes to "thank groups of staff".

"I believed implicitly that this was a work event," he said.

But "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 have been said technically to fall within the guidance - there would be millions and millions of people who simply would not see it that way."

Mr Johnson acknowledged that included "people who have suffered terribly, people who were forbidden for meeting loved ones at all inside or outside" adding: "To them and to this House, I offer my heartfelt apologies."

He said that senior official Sue Gray should be allowed to complete her inquiry into a series of alleged parties held during lockdown in No 10 and Whitehall "so that the full facts can be established".

Mr Johnson's principal private secretary Martin Reynolds invited colleagues to "socially distanced drinks" on May 20, 2020 to "make the most of the lovely weather" - urging them to "bring your own booze".

Appearing on BBC Politics Live, a visibly angry and upset Ms McGovern, said: "We have a Prime Minister who has come to house and said 'yes, I've partied while everyone else put their shoulder to the wheel'.

"Of course we need an inquiry but the central point here is that the Prime Minister was asked direct questions by MPs and journalists and wouldn't answer. We had the absolute farce of yesterday with people not being able to get clear answers and then today he comes to the House and says 'I'm awfully sorry - I don't recognise a party when I see one'. That is absolutely bizarre.

"People's rage is more than understandable - the question about apologies is not if you are sorry, it is what do you then do because actions speak louder than words. He doesn't just need to say his sorry he needs to demonstrate he is accountable.

"Does he have a sense of his own dignity? Matt Hancock went, Dominic Cummings went, so what does he expect? That other people are supposed to take responsibility for their own actions but he doesn't have to? Is that really the situation we are in?"

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also called on the Prime Minister to resign.

"After months of deceit and deception, the pathetic spectacle of a man who has run out of road," Sir Keir said.

"His defence ... that he didn't realise he was at a party is so ridiculous that it's actually offensive to the British public."

He added: "The party's over, Prime Minister. The only question is will the British public kick him out, will his party kick him out or will he do the decent thing and resign?"