Johnson and Sunak Among 30 More Fined After Downing Street 'Partygate' Probe
12:42 GMT 12.04.2022 (Updated: 15:18 GMT 28.05.2023)
An initial batch of some 20 fines were handed out to Downing Street staff last month following the police probe into claims they partied in the seat of government during the first two COVID-19 lockdowns.
The UK's prime minister and chancellor of the exchequer are among 30 people given on-the-spot fines to following the investigation into the 'Partygate' scandal.
The BBC reported on Tuesday afternoon that PM Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak had been slapped with the fines for breaching COVID-19 lockdown rules.
"The prime minister and chancellor have today received notification that the Metropolitan police intend to issue them with fixed penalty notices," said a Downing Street spokesman.
That brought the total number of the Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) fines imposed by London's Metropolitan Police to 50.
The PM's wife Carrie Johnson revealed she had also been handed a fine.
"In the interests of transparency, Mrs Johnson can confirm she has been notified that she will receive a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN)," her spokeswoman said. "She has not yet received any further details about the nature of the FPN."
Among the claims reported in the media was that Johnson was greeted by his staff with a cake on his 56th birthday on June 19 2020. The Daily Mirror claimed police had a photo of the PM holding a bottle of beer at the impromptu celebration, although the image has never been published.
Carrie Johnson reportedly organised the birthday gathering and allegedly also held a "victory party" with friends on November 13 2020 after the PM's top advisor Dominic Cummings was forced to resign.
Opposition leaders called for Johnson and Sunak to resign over the development.
"Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have broken the law and repeatedly lied to the British public. They must both resign," Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer demanded. "The Conservatives are totally unfit to govern. Britain deserves better."
Johnson had repeatedly insisted to Parliament that he was not aware of any breaches of the lockdown restrictions at Number 10.
"These fines expose the shocking scale of the criminality in Boris Johnson’s Number 10," Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey declared. "The police have now completely shredded Johnson’s claims that no laws were broken. He cannot be trusted and cannot continue as Prime Minister."
6 April 2022, 05:56 GMT
FPN fines of up to £200, legally equivalent to a parking ticket, were routinely levied against citizens caught breaching now-abolished restrictions.
The Met's retrospective probe of the Partygate claims was unprecedented for a minor offence. Opposition parties who initially demanded the investigation later attacked the force after senior civil servant Sue Gray's official report was delayed as a result.