Boris Johnson gave an example of the classic political apology – a sorry, not sorry

Editorial: It is quite something, even for him, that the prime minister opened his statement to MPs saying, ‘Mr Speaker, I want to apologise...’ and then proceeded to do no such thing

Wednesday 12 January 2022 17:37
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From the point of view of the prime minister himself, his ordeal in parliament went about as well as it could – which is to say that he will probably still be prime minister by the end of the week. Beyond that...

It is quite something, even for him, that the prime minister opened his statement to MPs by saying, “Mr Speaker, I want to apologise...” and then proceeded to do no such thing. It was, indeed, yet another misleading remark made in the chamber.

No one should be shocked. Predictably, the ashen-faced demeanour and the solemn formalities of the apology suggested contrition, but, as usual, they were entirely belied by what Boris Johnson placed in the small print and the parentheses. It was, in short, a non-apology of the classic political variety: sorry not sorry.

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