Fifty new fines issued over Downing Street lockdown breaches

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is not included in latest batch of penalties

The Metropolitan Police has said more than 100 fines have now been issued over breaches of coronavirus regulations in Whitehall and Downing Street. PA
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About 50 more fines have been issued by police investigating possible lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street and across Whitehall.

It brings the number of fines to more than 100 in the saga known as 'Partygate'.

Those fined include Boris Johnson, his wife Carrie and Chancellor Rishi Sunak who were hit with fixed penalty notices in April over a birthday party held for the prime minister in the Cabinet Room in No 10 Downing Street in June 2020.

It is understood that Mr Johnson has not received another fine, but the police investigation continues.

In a statement on Thursday, the Metropolitan Police said: “As of Thursday May 12, Operation Hillman, the investigation into breaches of Covid-19 regulations in Whitehall and Downing Street, has made more than 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 live.”

In its last update on April 12, the Met said “over 50” FPN referrals had been made.

Mr Johnson previously said it “did not occur” to him the gathering to mark his 56th birthday was a violation of coronavirus rules, but that he “now humbly accepts” he did breach Covid-19 laws.

On Monday, opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer said he will do the “right thing” and step down if he is fined by police for breaking Covid-19 rules at Labour Party offices in Durham last year.

Speaking at party headquarters in London, the Labour leader said that he did not believe that the rules had been broken.

“I believe in honour, integrity and the principle that those who make the rules must follow them,” he said.

“And I believe those who undermine that principle undermine trust in politics, undermine democracy and undermine Britain.

“I simply had something to eat while working late in the evening, as any politician would do days before an election.”

The Labour leader also attacked his critics for seeking to “to feed cynicism to get the public to believe all politicians are the same”.

Updated: May 12, 2022, 10:16 AM