Partygate: Met fine more Londoners for Covid gatherings than any other force

It comes as the Metropolitan Police are urged to investigate a leaked email reportedly proving over 100 Downing Street staff were invited to a No10 garden party in May 2020.

More than 100 Londoners were fined by the Met for hosting law-breaking gatherings, during the pandemic - more than any other police force in the country - figures have revealed.

It comes as the Metropolitan Police are urged to investigate a leaked email reportedly proving over 100 Downing Street staff were invited to a No10 garden party in May 2020.

Pressure is mounting on Boris Johnson ahead of a much-anticipated showdown with Labour leader Keir Starmer at PMQs in the House of Commons today (Wednesday, January 12).

Boris Johnson (then Foreign Secretary) attends a meeting with Martin Reynolds (far left), US Secretary of State John Kerry, and US Ambassador to Britain Matthew Barzun in 2016 (Photo: KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/AFP via Getty Images)

The prime minister’s principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, is accused of sending the invite to the ‘bring your own booze’ gathering during the first Covid lockdown.

Around 40 staff are said to have been at the party on May 20 - including the PM and his now-wife Carrie Johnson.

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Figures have shown the Met gave out 17,745 fixed penalty notices (FPN) for breaches of various Covid laws between March 27, 2020 and October 17, 2021.

These include 113 fines for holding a gathering of over 30 people, more than any other police force in the country.

In total, police have issued 118,419 fines for breaking government imposed lockdown rules in England between March 27, 2020 and October 17, 2021, according to data from the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC).

This includes around 800 FPNs issued for breaches of Covid rules in the week of the Downing Street garden party between May 15 and May 21, 2020.

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner told Sky News this morning that Johnson’s position was “completely untenable”.

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She said: “Time and time again, he’s said that nothing happened, no rules were broken. And the allegation essentially now is that he was actually attending this party during lockdown.

“It shows that he’s not only broken the rules but he’s lied to the British public, and I think that makes his position completely untenable.

“Conservative MPs have to ask themselves, ‘why are we propping up this man who has lied to the British public and who has broken the rules and has broken the law?’”

Leader of the Liberal Democrats and MP for Kingston and Surbiton Ed Davey registered £129,715. Davey earns £60,000 per year advising international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills on political issues, and £18,000 per year as a member of the advisory board for Next Energy Capital.

While Lib Dem leader Ed Davey said: “Thousands of Londoners have been fined for flouting lockdown rules during the pandemic.

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“It would be double standards of the worst kind for the police to turn a blind eye when those in No10 have done the same.

“Boris Johnson is taking the public, parliament and police for fools. We must not let him get away with it.”

“He has become a threat to the health of our nation, and for the sake of the country still gripped by this awful pandemic he must resign.”

A Met spokesperson said: “We are aware of widespread reporting relating to alleged breaches of the Health Protection Regulations at Downing Street on May 20, 2020 and are in contact with the Cabinet Office.

No10 declined to comment.