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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Partygate: No more fines for Boris and Carrie Johnson as police conclude investigation

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oris Johnson and his wife Carrie will not recieve more partygate fines, it emerged on Thursday as Scotland Yard completed its inquiry into Covid law breaches across Government.

The Met announced that 126 fixed penalty notices were being dished out for gatherings in Downing Street and Whitehall on eight dates.

Mr Johnson and his wife previously received £50 fines for a surprise birthday bash held for him in Downing Street on June 19, 2020.

But they were said not to be among those getting more penalties announced by police on Thursday.

Asked if a fine had been issued to the Prime Minister, his official spokesman said: “No, and the Met have confirmed that that they are taking no further action with regards to the Prime Minister.”

The focus of the storm is now set to shift onto the report by senior civil servant Sue Gray.

The findings of her investigation are expected to lay out more details of the culture in No10 which has seen it allegedly become the building in Britain to receive the most fines for breaking Covid laws.

Mr Johnson’s spokesman said the PM would update Parliament in the first instance when the Gray report is published. “That’s when he will talk about it in more detail,” he added.

It is understood Ms Gray’s report will not be published this week and is more likely to be unveiled next week, before Parliament rises for the May recess.

The £460,000 partygate investigation, named Operation Hillman, saw a team of 12 detectives work through 345 documents, including emails, door logs, diary entries and witness statements, 510 photographs and CCTV images and 204 questionnaires.

Police said 53 of the fines were issued to a man and 73 to a woman, but some people had received multiple fines.

Assistant Met Commissioner Helen Ball was unable to provide a figure for the total number of individuals fined.

She 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.

“When Covid regulations were introduced, the Met was clear that whilst we would not routinely investigate breaches of regulations retrospectively, there may be occasions when it would be appropriate to do so.

“The information that we received with regard to the alleged breaches in Downing Street and Whitehall was sufficient to reach our criteria to begin such an investigation.

“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.”

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