‘No further action’ - Met Police and Cressida Dick dodge inquiry over No10 party row

Police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and City Hall scrutiny commission, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) have both confirmed they will not be looking further into the complaint.

The Met Police and the force’s commissioner have avoided being investigated over a complaint about their handling of an alleged Christmas party in Downing Street last year.

Green peer Baroness Jenny Jones wrote to the Met to complain about the force’s handling of the allegations, which came to light amid other revelations Christmas parties were held by government departments and at the Conservative HQ.

Police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and City Hall scrutiny commission, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) have both confirmed they will not be looking further into the complaint.

An IOPC spokesperson said: “We can confirm that on Friday, December 17, we received a referral from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) of a complaint about an alleged party at Downing Street in December 2020.

“Having fully assessed the referral we have decided it is invalid and we have returned it to the MPS to handle as it determines would be appropriate.

“Under the relevant legislation, a valid complaint can only be made where an individual, or someone acting on their behalf, has been adversely affected by the alleged conduct or its effects.

“There was nothing within the referral to indicate the complainant was physically present or nearby when officers stationed at Downing Street allegedly failed to enforce Covid rules.

“Nor is there a suggestion that they were physically present or sufficiently nearby when the effects of the officers’ alleged actions occurred.

“If evidence were to come to light that anyone serving with the police may have breached standards of professional behaviour or committed a criminal offence, linked to the alleged party, we have reminded the MPS of its obligations to refer relevant matters to us, irrespective of whether or not a valid complaint has been made.”

A spokesperson for the MOPAC said: “As the appropriate authority responsible for considering complaints against the commissioner we can confirm a complaint was received on Friday, December 17.

“This concerned the commissioner’s action in respect of an investigation into an alleged party at 10 Downing Street in December 2020.

“Following a thorough assessment and review, no further action will be taken in respect of this complaint as the complainant was not directly affected by the alleged conduct or its effects as is required under the Police Reform Act 2002.”

A Met Police spokesperson said: “The Met has now received both the IOPC and MOPAC decisions in relation to a referral by us.

“Both independent bodies have considered the complaint and no further action will be taken, because the complainant was not adversely affected.

“Officers within the Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) considered if there were any conduct matters that should be investigated.

“In the absence of any corroborating evidence no further action will be taken.”

The Cabinet Office continues to look into staff gatherings in 2020, and if any evidence emerges of potential criminal behaviour it will be passed to the Met for further consideration.

The alleged No10 Christmas event is also among those being investigated by top civil servant Sue Gray.