Police subject 50 extra fines over Westminster ‘partygate’ breaches

The Metropolitan police has issued one other 50 fines to authorities officers as a part of its inquiry into coronavirus rule-breaking in Downing Street and Whitehall throughout the pandemic.

London’s police drive is investigating a dozen gatherings that came about in Westminster between 2020 and 2021 when Covid restrictions have been in place, together with 10 occasions at Downing Street.

The drive has to date issued greater than 100 referrals for fixed-penalty notices because the investigation into the “partygate” scandal started in January, together with to the prime minister Boris Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak.

“These referrals have continued to be made throughout the period since our last update on Tuesday 12 April and the investigation remains live,” the Met stated in an announcement on Thursday.

Johnson, his spouse Carrie, and Sunak have been final month fined £50 every for attending an unlawful party held at Downing Street in June 2020. On Thursday, Downing Street stated the prime minister had obtained no additional fines, including that an announcement could be made if a discover was issued.

Cabinet secretary Simon Case, who additionally obtained a questionnaire from the Met in relation to a number of gatherings in Downing Street and Whitehall he’s alleged to have attended, didn’t obtain a high-quality within the newest tranche.

In response to the fines, Liberal Democrat chief Ed Davey identified that Johnson had beforehand advised parliament: “Covid rules were followed in Number 10 at all times.”

“Now 100 fines have been issued by the police over partygate. It shows the shocking scale of the lawbreaking in Johnson’s Downing Street and the extent of his lies,” he stated.

Chris Bryant, Labour MP for Rhondda, stated that the fines confirmed that Downing Street was “the most lawbreaking workplace in Britain by a country mile”.

Allies of the prime minister are involved that if he’s fined once more, he’ll face a no-confidence vote on his place by Conservative MPs. One Tory MP stated: “Boris is confident that he won’t be fined again, but no one really knows. If he is, things will get very difficult.”

The Met beforehand stated that additional fines could be handed out “if the evidential threshold is made”, whereas highlighting the “significant amount of investigative material” that wanted to be reviewed, together with greater than 300 photos.

The police stated: “We are making every effort to progress this investigation at speed and have completed a number of assessments.”

After the Met finishes its investigation, Johnson must deal with the publication of an inside Whitehall inquiry into partygate by Sue Gray, a senior civil servant, which is ongoing.

Those with data of Gray’s findings stated her report would in all probability be “very damning” and will trigger extra political issues for Johnson. “It’s going to be pretty brutal,” one civil servant stated.

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