“I repeat that was my mistake and I apologise for it unreservedly,” Mr Johnson said.
However Sir Keir Starmer branded Boris Johnson “dishonest” and “a joke” as a senior Tory MP said the prime minister is no longer “worthy” to be in his role following his partygate fine.
Former chief whip Mark Harper, confirmed on Twitter that he’s submitted a letter of no confidence in the prime minister.
In the letter, he says Johnson is “no longer able to deliver the principled leadership required to take our country forward”.
Tory MPs can trigger a leadership contest if 54 letters of no confidence are sent to Sir Graham Brady, who chairs a committee of backbench MPs known as the 1922 Committee.
There’s no official running tally of how many letters have been submitted – they have been triggered by various issues over the course of Johnson’s leadership – the only way people will know for sure is if that crucial threshold of 54 letters is reached.
The prime minister repeated his apologies in the face of sustained criticism from opposition MPs.
Along with Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP and Plaid Cymru all called on the prime minister to resign, however all Tories barring Mr Harper were supportive of their leader.
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said the PM only apologised because he was caught, describing him as a “serial offender”.
It comes ahead of a Commons debate on Thursday looking at whether he misled MPs by claiming all rules were followed on Downing Street during the pandemic.
If the government loses the vote – a highly unlikely scenario – an investigation will be triggered looking into whether he was being honest with that claim, which could result in him being found in contempt of Parliament, suspended, or both.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said if Mr Johnson won’t resign he should allow Tories to vote freely on Thursday to decide for themselves if he lied to Parliament.
“If the Prime Minister won’t resign, will he at least give Conservative MPs on Thursday a free vote so Conservative MPs can decide for themselves whether the Prime Minister deliberately misled Parliament or was just so incompetent that he didn’t even understand his own laws?”
Mr Johnson replied: “I disagree profoundly with what he’s just said but I repeat my apology to the House and to the country.”