Police end partygate investigation with 126 people fined, and no further action against PM


Police have concluded their investigation into lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street and Whitehall, resulting in a total of 126 people being fined.

The £460,000 investigation into the partygate scandal, which has lasted almost five months, resulted in Boris Johnson, his wife Carrie and Chancellor Rishi Sunak each being fined once.

Downing Street said after the conclusion of the investigation that the prime minister had been told there would be no further action against him.

Politics Center: Sue Gray partygate report likely to arrive next week

Sky News understands that Carrie Johnson has also been told there will be no further action against her.

The investigation saw the Metropolitan Police make referrals to Fixed Fine Notices (FPNs) – which have been or will be issued – in relation to events on eight dates from May 2020 to April 2021.

Police said a team of 12 detectives had combed through 345 documents, including emails, door searches, diary entries and witness statements, 510 photographs and CCTV footage and 204 questionnaires in what they described as a “careful and thorough” investigation. “.

Detectives have not publicly released the identities of those cited.

The Met said 28 people had received between two and five penalty notices.

The conclusion of the police investigation paves the way for official Sue Gray’s report on the parties to be published in full.

A source close to his team said the goal was to publish it as soon as possible, probably next week.

Partygate has taken over Westminster and prompted calls from opposition parties, as well as some Conservative MPs, for the prime minister to resign.

mr johnson also faces a parliamentary investigation on whether he misled the House of Commons on the parties.

Of those who have been referred by police for tickets, 53 were men and 73 women, the Met said, adding that some people received more than one.

The fines refer to events that occurred on: May 20, 2020, June 18, 2020, June 19, 2020, November 13, 2020, December 17, 2020, December 18, 2020, January 14, 2021 and April 16, 2021.

Scotland Yard originally said it would not investigate historic coronavirus rule breaches, but changed its mind and launched an investigation in January this year.

He said that was based on a number of criteria, including whether those involved should have known what they were doing was a crime, whether not doing so would “significantly undermine the legitimacy of the law” and whether there was little doubt there was no defense. .

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

“When the COVID regulations were introduced, the Met made it clear that while we would not routinely investigate breaches of regulations retrospectively, there may be times when it would be appropriate to do so.

“The information we received regarding the alleged breaches at Downing Street and Whitehall was sufficient to meet our criteria to commence such an investigation.

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

Labor Party Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said: “The industrial-scale rule-breaking has taken place in the heart of Boris Johnson’s Downing Street.

“We must now urgently see Sue Gray’s report published in full. It is time for the prime minister to stop hiding.

“While the British people sacrificed so much, Boris Johnson’s Downing Street broke the rules on an unprecedented scale. Britain deserves better.”



Reference-news.sky.com

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