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UK’s Downing Street COVID rule-breaking partygoers slapped with more fines

More than 100 fixed penalties are now handed down over lockdown breaches

Leila Nezirevic   | 12.05.2022
UK’s Downing Street COVID rule-breaking partygoers slapped with more fines

LONDON

The Metropolitan police said on Thursday that they have issued a further 50 fines for those who broke the COVID-19 rules at Downing Street and Whitehall.

This brings the number of penalty notices to more than 100 for those who attended parties in governmental buildings.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his wife Carrie Johnson, and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak were also fined in April for breaching the COVID rules when birthday party was held for PM Johnson in NO 10 in June 2020.

The latest penalties are for those that attended a Christmas party while lockdown measures were in place, but it is believed that Johnson did not attend this time around.

However, the police investigation continues, and further fines are expected to be issued by the Met Police for those who broke the rules and were involved in the “Partygate scandal.”

Some 12 gatherings are being investigated by the police, and Johnson is believed to have attended at least three parties.

No 10 told earlier that it will reveal any further penalty notices imposed on the prime minister.

Opposition parties have called for Johnson and Sunak to resign.

Sir Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat leader, said earlier: "Boris Johnson stood up in Parliament and said COVID rules were followed in No 10 at all times.

"Now 100 fines have been issued by the police over Partygate. It shows the shocking scale of the law-breaking in Johnson's Downing Street and the extent of his lies."

Opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer called for Johnson to resign.

However, Starmer has also come under pressure to resign after he was secretly filmed drinking in the City of Durham at MP Mary Foy's constituency office during COVID restrictions last April.

Starmer denies any rule-breaking and has made a promise to resign if he is found guilty and in breach of COVID regulations.

Senior civil servant Sue Gray and the House of Commons privileges committee are also running inquiries, but the publication of Gray's full report has been delayed by the Met Police investigation.

Gray’s findings realized in February criticized "failures of leadership and judgement by different parts of No 10 and the Cabinet Office" and said "some of the events should not have been allowed to take place."

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