More than 100 fines issued for partygate lockdown breaches

More than 100 fixed-penalty notices have been handed out for breaches of lockdown rules in Downing Street and other UK government buildings, the Metropolitan police has announced.

The force previously said it had issued more than 50 such fines, but it had not updated the public on the progress of its investigation in recent weeks while the local election campaign was taking place.

In a statement on Thursday it said the total had reached twice that. Its investigation is still ongoing.

Downing Street confirmed on Wednesday that the prime minister had still received only one fine, for a birthday party in June 2020.

His wife, Carrie Johnson, and the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, were fined for the same event, which the junior minister Conor Burns described as the prime minister being “ambushed with a cake”.

Boris Johnson has told friends he believes he will not receive further fines, and said publicly last week that he had not yet received a questionnaire from the Met about the leaving do of his aide Lee Cain, at which he is believed to have poured drinks.

Some fines have already been issued for the “bring your own booze” garden drinks organised by Mr Johnson’s principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, on May 20th 2020. Mr Johnson admitted attending that gathering for a few minutes but insisted he believed it was a work event.

Many Conservative MPs are awaiting the publication of the senior civil servant Sue Gray’s full report on lockdown breaches in Downing Street before deciding whether to move against the prime minister.

Mr Johnson also faces an investigation by the House of Commons privileges committee into whether he misled parliament by reassuring MPs when the partygate stories first emerged that “all guidance was followed completely” in Downing Street.– Guardian News and Media 2022

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