Met Police Issue At Least 30 More Fines Over "Partygate" Gatherings
The Metropolitan Police have announced that at least 30 more Fixed Penalty Notices have been issued over breaches of Covid-19 rules in Downing Street and Whitehall.
Police have now issued more than 50 fines as part of their investigation into 12 gatherings held at Downing Street and the Cabinet Office during lockdown.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak are among those who have received fines, with a Downing Street spokesperson confirming the pair had received notice they would be hit with the penalties.
In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said they had now made more than 50 referrals to the ACRO Criminal Records Office responsible for dishing out the Fixed-Penalty Notices to individuals.
"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 statement read.
Responding to the latest announcement, Labour leader Keir Starmer said it "blows the Prime Minister's defence out the water".
Starmer said Johnson had "told the country, he told Parliament that all the rules were complied with in Downing Street where he lives and where he works. And now it is obvious there was widespread criminality".
He added: "I'm afraid it calls into even further question the honesty and integrity of the Prime Minister who stood up and said nothing was going on that shouldn't have gone on and all the rules were complied with.
"It is obvious that that was wrong, and it reflects very badly on the Prime Minister."
Last month the police issued 20 initial fines related to lockdown-breaching events held in Downing Street which saw officials drinking alcohol while the rest of the country was under strict instructions not to mix with other households indoors.
The first group of fines were linked to two events which reportedly took place in Whitehall on the evening of 16 April, the night before the funeral of Prince Philip.
Speaking after the last fines were issued, Johnson refused to accept lockdown laws had been broken, but said he apologised for the events.
"I have been several times to the House to talk about this and to explain and to apologise and to set out the things that we are doing to change the way things run in Number 10," he said.
"But what I also said repeatedly... I won't give a running commentary on an investigation that is under way."
He added: "I think you are going to have to hold your horses and wait until the conclusion of the investigation, when there will be a lot more clarity."
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