Ralph Northam asks for ‘opportunity to earn forgiveness’ but also recalls darkening skin for Michael Jackson costume

Virginia’s governor, Ralph Northam, denied he was one of the people dressed in a Ku Klux Klan uniform or in blackface in a photo from his medical school yearbook page, amid pressure to resign.

Delivering a statement in Richmond on Saturday afternoon, the Democrat conceded it would be difficult for many people to believe he was not in the photo when just 24 hours earlier he had said he was.

Related: Virginia governor Ralph Northam under pressure to resign over racist photo

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Read More Virginia governor denies he is in racist yearbook picture – and will not quit

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