UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Image: PA/Phil Noble)

When is an apology not an apology?

When a party is not a party. When a garden is an office. When lockdown means a lock-in. When your presence was merely a prelude to an absence. When saying sorry doesn’t mean you were wrong. When black-and-white is really (Sue) Gray.

On Wednesday, Boris Johnson finally spoke publicly after a leaked email proved that a “bring-your-own-booze” party was held on May 20, 2020, in the Downing Street garden at a time when the rest of the country was under strict lockdown.