Prime Minister’s Office had notified that the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and Chancellor of Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, will be fined for breaching COVID-19 rules following allegations of coronavirus No.10 lockdown parties at government offices.
The news came after London’s Metropolitan Police revealed on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, that it was issuing 30 more fixed penalty notices in relation to the “Partygate” scandal, which has seen dozens of politicians and officials investigated over allegations that the government flouted its own coronavirus pandemic restrictions, causing a wave of public anger. “The Prime Minister and 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,” a Spokesperson for Johnson’s office said.
However, it is not immediately clear how much Johnson and Sunak would be fined. The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has denied any wrongdoing, but he is alleged to have been at several of the dozen events in his No. 10 Downing Street Office and other government buildings that are being investigated by the Metropolitan Police.
Johnson’s government has been shaken by public anger over revelations that his staff held “bring your own booze” office parties, birthday celebrations and “wine time Fridays” in 2020 and 2021 while millions in the United Kingdom were barred from meeting with friends and family because of his Government’s COVID-19 restrictions. Thousands of people were fined between 60 pounds ($78) and 10,000 pounds ($13,040) by Police for citizens rule-breaking social gatherings.
The Metropolitan Police Investigation
In total, Police said they are issuing at least 50 fines for the breaches, but did not identify who the recipients are. The Police added that they have sent questionnaires to more than 100 people, including the Prime Minister, and interviewed witnesses as part of the investigation.
In a statement released by the Police, it noted that “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”. In January 2022, Civil Servant, Sue Gray, published a report on some of the gatherings, the ones not under criminal investigation. She said “failures of leadership and judgment” in Johnson’s government allowed events to occur that should not have happened.
Opposition Calls for Resignations
Opposition figures in Parliament have demanded that both Boris Johnson and other members of his government resign over the scandal. “Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have broken the law and repeatedly lied to the British public. They must both resign,” Keir Starmer, Leader of the main opposition Labour Party.
The issue already threatened Johnson’s position earlier this year when a number of lawmakers in his own Conservative Party called for him to quit as public trust plummeted and support for the Government shrank.
Meanwhile, Mr. Johnson’s wife, Carrie, has also been notified by police on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, that she will be fined over the COVID-19 lockdown breaches, her spokesperson noted in a statement.
“Mrs Johnson can confirm she has been notified that she will receive a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). She has not yet received any further details about the nature of the FPN.”Spokesperson for Mr. Johnson’s wife, Carrie