BLACK Country MPs have welcomed the Prime Minister's apology for attending the Downing Street drinks party - but have resisted taking a stronger view on the matter until an investigation has taken place.

Boris Johnson gave an apology at PMQs today that he had attended a 'bring your own booze' drinks party in the garden at No 10 on May 20 during the first lockdown but said he had believed it to be a work event.

Government rules at the time stipulated people could only meet one other person from another household outdoors, with advice to remain two metres apart, while larger gatherings with people from other households were not permitted, apart from a few exceptions such as funerals or where it was essential for work purposes.

Schools, non-essential shops, hospitality venues and hairdressers were closed at that time and people were unable to visit loved ones in hospital or care homes.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called for the PM's resignation - branding him a "pathetic spectacle of a man who has run out of road" - but Dudley's Tory MPs have taken a less severe stance on the matter.

Marco Longhi, Conservative MP for Dudley North, said: "There is an ongoing investigation into the matter and natural justice dictates that we should wait and see what the outcome of that investigation is.

Dudley News: Marco Longhi MPMarco Longhi MP

"It's obviously not welcome news, but when you look at how this information is being put out there is clearly a hatchet job on the Prime Minister. We are leading the way on Covid in the western hemisphere, and it’s a pity that so much good work is being lost in this noise.

"If the investigation establishes that things have not been done correctly, then I'm sure there will be consequences. Until such time it would be wise not to jump the gun."

Stourbridge MP Suzanne Webb welcomed the PM's apology and added: "I agree with him that he should have done things differently on that day in Downing Street when others were making sacrifices during that first lockdown period.

Dudley News: Suzanne Webb MPSuzanne Webb MP

"An investigation is ongoing into the event and its findings will be made public."

Dudley South MP Mike Wood said it was too early to say whether the PM should resign over the controversy and he told the News: "Clearly the event shouldn’t have happened and the Prime Minister shouldn’t have attended. I think the PM has recognised that.

Dudley News: Mike Wood MPMike Wood MP

"Whether it’s a resigning matter probably depends on exactly what happened – who did what and when etc – and so a lot will rest on the conclusions of Sue Gray’s investigation when it is published in the next week or two."

He said he couldn't recall what he was doing on May 20 2020 but he "certainly wasn't invited" to the event. He added: "Looking at Hansard I did participate in some Parliamentary debates and question sessions by video link while some other MPs were in the House of Commons Chamber. I can’t remember whether I returned to Westminster in May or June of that year."

Suzanne Webb said she was "working from home helping constituents across Stourbridge" at the time and Marco Longhi said his diary showed he was "engaged on a Trade Bill committee pretty much all day".

James Morris, MP for Halesowen and Rowley Regis, has not yet responded to a request for comment.