‘Partygate’: Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak to be FINED by Met Police over Covid-19 lawbreaking
A No10 spokesperson confirmed both the prime minister and chancellor “have today received notification that the Metropolitan Police intend to issue them with fixed penalty notices”.
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Prime minister Boris Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak will be issued fines for lawbreaking gatherings in Downing Street and Whitehall during the Covid-19 lockdowns.
A No10 spokesperson confirmed both men “have today received notification that the Metropolitan Police intend to issue them with fixed penalty notices”.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer immediately called for both men’s resignation.
He said: “Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have broken the law and repeatedly lied to the British public.
“They must both resign. The Conservatives are totally unfit to govern.
“Britain deserves better.”
Scotland Yard has dished out a further 30 fines, the force confirmed today (Tuesday, April 12).
It follows the 20 fines the force issued last month.
Campaigners from the Covid-19 Bereaved Families group have said the reality of lawbreaking is “unbelievably painful” while the public made “unimaginable sacrifices”.
And opposition politicians blasted the government as “distracted” and “out-of-touch” and claimed the prime minister “cannot be trusted”.
Names and details of who has been fined and the events they relate to will not be provided, the Met has said.
The fines are related to specific lawbreaking, so an individual could receive more than one.
Officers are investigating 12 events that may have breached lockdown rules in government buildings, including three attended by Mr Johnson.
More than 100 questionnaires have been sent out to ask people about the events.
A police spokesperson said: “We have made over 50 referrals for fixed penalty notices (FPN) to the ACRO Criminal Records Office for breaches of Covid-19 regulations who following the referral issue the FPNs to the individual.
“We are making every effort to progress this investigation at speed.
“This includes continuing to assess significant amounts of investigative material from which further referrals may be made to ACRO [Criminal Records Office].”
The police investigation follows an inquiry led by senior civil servant Sue Gray.
The full findings of Ms Gray’s investigation are expected to be published once the police inquiry concludes.
Anyone fined can either pay within 28 days or contest the police decision.
The fine will then either be withdrawn or the matter will be resolved in court.
Speaking ahead of the confirmation that Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak has been fined, a spokesperson for the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK said: “It’s now indisputable that whilst bereaved families were unable to be at their loved ones’ sides in their last moments, or stood at their funerals alone, the people responsible for protecting us in Downing Street were partying and rule breaking en masse.
“It’s a reality that is unbelievably painful for bereaved families to face as we try and move forward with our lives.
“It’s plain as day that there was a culture of boozing and rule breaching at the highest level of Government, whilst the British public was making unimaginable sacrifices to protect their loved ones and communities.
“The man responsible for that culture is the prime minister. The same man that looked bereaved families in the eye last year and told us that he had done ‘everything he could to protect their loved ones’.
“If Boris Johnson had any decency he would do the right thing and resign immediately.”
While ahead of the confirmation about the prime minister and chancellor’s fines, Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “Crime is soaring, victims are being let down, and police officers are disappearing from our streets – now we see widespread criminality at the heart of Downing Street.
“This is just the latest example of a distracted out-of-touch government, guilty of breaking the law, never mind enforcing it.”
She added: “Labour has set out a plan to crack down on crime and anti-social behaviour by making offenders pay back to communities and tackling antisocial behaviour with police hubs in every area.
“Meanwhile, the Conservatives are defending their own law-breaking and are refusing to distance themselves from one of their MP’s defence of a convicted sex offender.
“Britain deserves better than this government.”
And commenting prior to the news, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said: “These fines expose the shocking scale of the criminality in Boris Johnson’s No10.
“The police have now completely shredded Johnson’s claims that no laws were broken. He cannot be trusted and cannot continue as prime minister.
“No other leader in any other organisation would be allowed to continue after law-breaking on this scale.
“If Boris Johnson won’t resign, Conservative MPs must show him the door.”
A No10 spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer have today received notification that the Metropolitan Police intend to issue them with fixed penalty notices.
“We have no further details, but we will update you again when we do.”