No.10 Downing Street announced on Thursday, May 19, 2022, that Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, will not face fines after Metropolitan Police closed itsPartygate investigation.
The Police also concluded that Mr. Johnson’s wife, Carrie, will not receive a further fine, as they were both fined last month (April) for breaking Covid-19 lockdown rules in June 2020. Metropolitan Police said the inquiry into lockdown breaches in and around Downing Street has now come to an end.
According to the Police, its investigation into lockdown-breaking parties in No.10 Downing Street and Whitehall resulted in a total of 126 fines known as Fixed Penalty Notices, issued for events across eight different dates. In total, 83 people have been issued fines, the Police added, with 28 people facing between two and five fines.
Sources also suggested that UK’s top Civil Servant, Cabinet Secretary, Simon Case, has been told he will not be fined. In December 2021, Mr. Case was forced to step aside from his role over an inquiry into lockdown parties, after it emerged an event was held in his own office.
The ending of the Police inquiry paves way for the publication of the full report by Senior Civil Servant, Sue Gray, who took over the investigation into lockdown gathering from Mr. Case due to his involvement.
As such the full report is expected to be published next week. But opposition parties have also demanded that it is published as soon as possible. An interim version of the report, published in late January 2022, criticised “failures of leadership and judgement” in No.10 and the Cabinet Office.
The Reaction of Some MPs
Already some Conservative Members of Parliament concluded that they are reserving judgement on UK Prime Minister, Mr. Boris Johnson’s future until the final document is published.
As though that is not enough, some Tory MPs, after the interim version of the report was released, called for a vote of no confidence in Mr. Johnson’s leadership over the Partygate revelations.
Labour Leader, Sir Keir Starmer, after the release of Thursday, May 19, 2022, Police Report, revealed that the number of fines showed there were some “industrial-scale lawbreaking in Downing Street”. He added that his opinion of the Prime Minister did not change and as such, said “of course, he should resign”.
Meanwhile, a separate inquiry, by Durham Police, into whether Sir Keir broke Covid laws at a Labour campaign event in the city in 2021 is ongoing. Sir Keir pledged that he will quit as Labour leader if he should receive a Fixed Penalty Notice over that event.
Liberal Democrat, Sir Ed Davey, said: “The full Sue Gray report should now be published without delay, and the parliamentary inquiry should be launched into Johnson’s lies”, adding that “The public made huge sacrifices while Boris Johnson partied, they deserve the full truth”.
The end of the Police inquiry means the Prime Minister has not been fined for the party in No.10 Downing Street, which he attended in May 2020, allegedly honoured by about 100 people.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed that other people have been fined for their presence at this event. Although Mr. Johnson apologised previously for attending the garden party for 25 minutes, he pointed out that he “believed implicitly” it was a work event.