Boris Johnson avoids more Partygate fines as police conclude probe

Move paves the way for publication of civil servant Sue Gray's report into parties at Downing Street

London's Metropolitan Police force have issued more than 100 fines in relation to breaches of coronavirus regulations at British government offices. AP Photo
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London's Metropolitan Police have concluded their investigation into lockdown breaches in Downing Street and Whitehall after issuing fixed penalty notices to 126 people.

Scotland Yard said on Thursday that it had issued fines to 53 men and 73 women, with some people receiving several fines, for events on eight separate dates.

No 10 said the UK Prime Minister was “pleased” the investigation had concluded and that officers had told Boris Johnson he would not receive a second fine, having received one for the event on his 56th birthday.

The conclusion of Operation Hillman into Partygate allegations paves the way for the publication of senior civil servant Sue Gray’s inquiry.

It was understood Chancellor Rishi Sunak was also yet to receive another fine, after receiving one for attending the Prime Minister’s gathering in June 2020.

The Prime Minister’s wife Carrie Johnson has also received confirmation she faces no further action.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The Met has confirmed that they are taking no further action with regards to the Prime Minister.”

Police said detectives made 126 referrals for fixed penalty notices (FPNs) to the Acro Criminal Records Office relating to events on eight dates: May 20, June 18 and 19, November 13 and December 17 and 18 in 2020; and January 14 and April 16 in 2021.

Scotland Yard declined to identify anyone involved in the investigation but disclosed that it cost around £460,000 ($570,000).

A team of 12 detectives examined 345 documents, including emails, door logs, diary entries, witness statements and 204 questionnaires. They also examined 510 photographs and CCTV images.

There were no interviews under caution, with officers instead relying on answers to questionnaires.

Six separate types of offending were identified, including breaching rules for holding an indoor gathering of multiple people, including when London was under Tier 4 restrictions.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Helen Ball, of the Met, said: “There is no doubt that the pandemic impacted all of us in so many ways and strong feelings and opinions have been expressed on this particular issue.

“Our investigation was thorough and impartial and was completed as quickly as we could, given the amount of information that needed to be reviewed and the importance of ensuring that we had strong evidence for each FPN referral.

“This investigation is now complete.”

Updated: May 19, 2022, 12:58 PM