A government minister has said this morning that the prime minister should not resign if he is issued a fine for attending lockdown-defying gatherings.

His remarks come after last night’s reports from the Guardian newspaper, that fixed penalty notices have been issued to staff who attended a Downing Street party on the eve of Prince Phillip’s funeral.

Wales Secretary Simon Hart told Sky News today that his constituents told him that “they want contrition and they want an apology but they don’t want a resignation”.

Alluding to the war in Ukraine, he said: “I actually think at the moment… the idea that it might be appropriate to have a sort of six week, self-indulgent leadership contest in the middle of this, frankly I don’t think that is very sensible either.

He went on: “As I have said before, we all make judgments which we have time to reflect on and wish we made differently. I think for me personally speaking, I think the world has moved on a considerable distance.

“I trust the views of the people who elected me in saying that look, put this problem right, make sure you apologise, you acted inappropriately at the time, but the idea that every politician or indeed every journalist for that matter who makes a misjudgement along the way should automatically be sacked is not something I subscribe to.”