Downing Street partygate: 20 people to be fined by the MetPolice

LONDON, (Parliament Politics Magazine) – Those people who attended lockdown-breaking parties in Whitehall and Downing Street will be issued 20 fines by the Metropolitan Police.

However, the force has not published the names of those facing charges or the incidents to which they were witnesses.

PM Boris Johnson was one of 100 people who received formal legal questionnaires related to the probe, which began in January and was dubbed Operation Hillman.

Mr Johnson has not yet received a fine, according to a spokesman for the Prime Minister, but Downing Street will inform him if he does.

The “partygate” investigation focused on 12 events in 2020 and 2021 that may have violated COVID restrictions.

“Boris Johnson’s Downing Street has been found guilty of breaking the law,”  Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader said, adding that the PM must quit.

The investigation into claims of COVID-19 regulation violations in Whitehall and Downing Street and Whitehall had now reached to the point where the first referrals for fixed penalty notices (FPN) will be made to ACRO Criminal Records Office, the Met Police said in a statement.

They will begin referring to 20 fixed penalty notices for violations of the Covid-19 restrictions today.

Following the referrals from the Metropolitan Police Service, the ACRO Criminal Records Office will be in charge of issuing the FPNs to the individual.

Further referrals to ACRO may be made if the evidential standard is met, the Met stated, adding that more evidence is currently being evaluated.

The number of persons who will be punished is unknown, according to legal expert Joshua Rozenberg, because some individuals may be receiving more than one fixed penalty notice and the procedure of issuing the penalties “may take some time.”

Angela Rayner, a Labour MP, said that the culture was established from the top down. The PM was to blame for months of lies to the Britons, which is why he must resign. This was a betrayal of the millions of individuals who made enormous sacrifices.

Ms Rayner previously told Sky News that anyone in the government who decided to flout their own laws, including chancellor Rishi Sunak and the Prime Minister, should resign if penalised.

When asked if the PM should resign if penalised, government minister Will Quince recognised that  great upset had been caused by events that “shouldn’t have happened,” but remained tight-lipped.

“That’s a hypothetical question, you wouldn’t expect me to answer that,” Mr Quince, the minister for children and families, told Sky News.

On February 11th, the PM got a questionnaire.

He may have attended up to six of the events under investigation, although it is unclear if he will be issued a fixed penalty notice.

Last Monday, the Metropolitan Police revealed that officers had begun questioning key witnesses about the questionnaire responses.

The 12 events under inquiry occurred over eight days, including a “bring your own booze” reception in the Downing Street garden on May 20, 2020, hosted by the PM’s principal private secretary Martin Reynolds.

Another was a surprise birthday party in the cabinet room for Mr Johnson in June 2020, which the chancellor attended.

Fixed penalty notices do not result in a criminal conviction, but if they are not paid, they might result in court summons and criminal prosecution.


Image via Sky News

Ashton Perry

Ashton Perry is a former Birmingham BSc graduate professional with six years critical writing experience. With specilisations in journalism focussed writing on climate change, politics, buisness and other news. A passionate supporter of environmentalism and media freedom, Ashton works to provide everyone with unbiased news.