Mr Johnson said he had taken “significant steps to change the way things work in Number 10” after the departures of five key advisers in early February.
Insisting he did not want to “minimise the importance of this fine”, he emphasised that he accepted the decision of the police.
Asked by David Simmons, a Tory backbencher, how he would restore his premiership’s “moral authority”, he said: “I think the best thing the Government can do is continue to deliver on the promises that were made to the British people, and that is what we’re doing.”
Steve Baker, the deputy chairman of the Covid Recovery Group, said: “In asking us to forgive him, my Right Honourable friend could not have made a more humble apology. But what I want to see is that justice leading into mercy relies on a very, very old-fashioned concept, and that is repentance.”
Robin Millar, who had been publicly critical of Mr Johnson at the height of the “pork pie plot” to remove him, welcomed his statement and said: “We all have hope that there’s forgiveness in our future, and not just punishment for our past.”
Tom Hunt, the MP for Ipswich and a member of the 2019 Tory intake, added: “President Zelensky has identified the Prime Minister as Ukraine’s greatest ally. He has also been identified, I think, by President Putin as enemy number one. Months of psychodrama in here would play into the hands of the latter, not the former.”
Sir Edward Leigh, the Tory MP for Gainsborough since 1983, suggested that the only person who should be removed from their position was Putin.