Metropolitan Police Issue At Least 50 New Fines Over Partygate Scandal
09:19 GMT 12.05.2022 (Updated: 15:19 GMT 28.05.2023)
The so-called Partygate scandal focuses on prominent Number 10 staffers, as well as Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who were accused of violating COVID-related restrictions in 2020 and 2021.
The Metropolital Police have issued 50 more fines as a result of its investigation into lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street and Whitehall.
The names of those who have been fined have not been disclosed by police, in accordance with the rules of issuing fixed penalty notices (FPN). However, No 10 confirmed that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is not among those who have received an FPN this time. Downing Street added that should the prime minister, chancellor or cabinet secretary receive further fines, the fact would be publicised.
Previously, three levels of fine were issued as part of the investigation, with the first 20 FPNs announced in late March and more than 30 FPNs the next month. In April, it was revealed that Prime Minister Johnson, his wife Carrie and Chancellor Rishi Sunak were among those who had received FPNs for violating the Government's coronavirus restrictions. They were each forced to pay £50 ($60.9) each for attending a birthday party for the prime minister thrown by his wife in the Cabinet Room in Downing Street on 19 June 2020.
Johnson denied any wrongdoing, arguing that he did not know the gathering was a party but said he saw it just as a brief meeting with colleagues who wanted to wish him a happy birthday.
12 April 2022, 12:42 GMT
Boris Johnson became the first sitting prime minister to be fined for breaking the law. He has repeatedly apologised for this but refused to resign despite some of the MPs demanding that he step down.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and his deputy, Angela Rayner, are also being investigated by Durham Police into whether an event they attended with party activists in April 2021 violated COVID rules. Both politicians have declared that should they be fined, they are prepared to fall on their sword.