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Met Police Issue 20 Fixed Penalty Notices In First Wave Of Partygate Response

3 min read

The Metropolitan Police has announced that it is issuing 20 Fixed Penalty Notices to people involved in parties held in Whitehall and Downing Street during lockdown, with more set to follow.

The Met neither named the people who it was referring the Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) to nor confirmed how many FPNs would be issued to each individual.

It said it may be forced to issue further FPNs given the large volume of evidence gathered as part of the investigation. The Met said there was still a "significant" amount of material to assess.

The announcement confirms that people working at the heart of government are deemed to have broken lockdown rules imposed by the government itself.

Boris Johnson is one of several high-profile figures to have received a questionnaire from the Met quizzing him about his involvement in the rule-breaking parties.

Downing Street has said it will make it public if the Prime Minister is given a FPN.

Speaking in the House of Commons in December, when the partygate scandal first emerged, Johnson said "all guidance was followed completely" in 10 Downing Street during lockdown.

A number of Labour MPs have accused Johnson of lying to parliament. "According to Boris Johnson these were the parties that never happened," shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said.

"He’s a proven liar and lied repeatedly to the House of Commons and the country."

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said: "After over two months of police time, twelve parties investigated and over a hundred people questioned under caution, Boris Johnson’s Downing Street has been found guilty of breaking the law.

"The culture is set from the very top. The buck stops with the Prime Minister, who spent months lying to the British public, which is why he’s got to go.

"It is disgraceful that while the rest of the country followed their rules, Boris Johnson's government acted like they didn't apply to them.

"This has been a slap in the face of the millions of people who made huge sacrifices.“

A Met spokesperson on Tuesday morning said: "We will today initially begin to refer 20 fixed penalty notices to be issued for breaches of Covid-19 regulations. The ACRO Criminal Records Office will then be responsible for issuing the FPNs to the individual following the referrals from the MPS.

"We are making every effort to progress this investigation at speed and have completed a number of assessments. However due to the significant amount of investigative material that remains to be assessed, further referrals may be made to ACRO if the evidential threshold is made".

PoliticsHome has contacted Downing Street for comment.

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