London police issue more ‘partygate’ fines, now totaling over 100

Placeholder while loading article actions

LONDON – Dozens of new fines have been issued as part of an investigation into breaches of the covid lockdown by British government officials, London police announced on Thursday, bringing the total to more than 100 citations so far .

The Metropolitan Police said it had doubled the number of penalties after a review of a dozen alcohol shots during the lockdown, a month after 50 fines were imposed on participants including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson , his wife, Carrie, and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak. Johnson, who paid the fine, is the first British prime minister to break the law while in office.

Downing Street confirmed that Johnson was not among those who received penalties this time. The identities of those fined were not released by police, but Downing Street had promised updates if Johnson received another citation. “I don’t have any updates,” a spokesperson said. When asked if that meant Johnson hadn’t been fined, he replied, “That’s right.”

In their latest update on pandemic breaches, police issued this statement: “Since Thursday 12 May Operation Hillman, the investigation into breaches of Covid-19 regulations in Whitehall and Downing Street, has made over 100 referrals for Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) to the ACRO Criminal Records Office. These referrals have continued to be made throughout the period since our last update on Tuesday April 12 and the investigation remains ongoing.

‘Partygate’ has been a problem for the UK government, which suffered a beating in recent local elections in part because of the scandal. Police continue to investigate the 12 misconduct rallies.

There’s also an administrative report forthcoming by civil servant Sue Gray, who previously said the parties involved “lacked leadership and judgment.” Parliament has launched a further inquiry into whether Johnson “knowingly misled” lawmakers about whether the rallies breached government lockdown rules.

Labor Party leader Keir Starmer has called on Johnson to resign over the scandal. The opposition leader also faces a police investigation in the northeast of England after footage emerged of him drinking a beer at a rally in Durham city in April 2021 – an incident inevitably dubbed “beergate” by the media.

Starmer said he had a beer and a curry meal to go during a work break and no rules were broken. Contrasting with Johnson, Starmer has vowed to resign if he is fined and has broken lockdown rules.

Johnson has pushed back against calls to resign after being fined for attending a birthday party in his honor in Downing Street, allegedly hosted by his wife.

In an interview last week, Johnson said he was an “honest” politician who had “inadvertently” misled Parliament when he said “the guidelines and rules ‘on parties in Downing Street’ were followed at all times”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.