Europe

UK police end investigation into government’s lockdown-breaking parties

Prime minister’s spokesman says Boris Johnson would no more receive fines

Karim El-Bar   | 19.05.2022
UK police end investigation into government’s lockdown-breaking parties

LONDON

London’s Metropolitan Police announced on Thursday that they have concluded their investigation into lawbreaking parties in Downing Street and other government buildings, with the British prime minister’s spokesman saying Boris Johnson would not receive any further fines.

The Met said they had handed out 126 fines overall, with 28 people receiving multiple fines. Police have not published the names of those fined, and the investigation lasted almost five months.

“A team of 12 detectives worked through 345 documents, including emails, door logs, diary entries and witness statements, 510 photographs and CCTV images and 204 questionnaires as part of a careful and thorough inquiry,” the Met said in a statement.

Johnson, his wife Carrie, and Chancellor Rishi Sunak all received one fine each.

Johnson faced intense pressure to resign from the public, opposition parties, and a considerable section within his own party. He remains in his position, however.

“The premier is pleased that the investigation is concluded, and would like to thank the Met for their work,” the prime minister’s official spokesman said. “The Met has confirmed they are taking no further action as regards the prime minister.”

Senior civil servant Sue Gray is now expected to publish her own separate report on the lockdown-breaking parties, with local media reporting it could come as soon as next week.

The Met’s Acting Deputy Commissioner Helen Ball said: “There is no doubt that the pandemic impacted all of us in so many ways and strong feelings and opinions have been expressed on this particular issue.

“Our investigation was thorough and impartial and was completed as quickly as we could, given the amount of information that needed to be reviewed and the importance of ensuring that we had strong evidence for each FPN (Fixed Penalty Notice) referral. This investigation is now complete.”

Angela Rayner, deputy leader of the main opposition Labour Party, said: “Industrial scale rule-breaking has taken place at the heart of Boris Johnson’s Downing Street. We must now urgently see the Sue Gray report published in full. It’s time for the prime minister to stop hiding.”

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