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Police ‘will not interview Boris Johnson’ over Downing Street lockdown parties

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oris Johnson will not be interviewed by the Met Police as part of their investigation into parties held in Downing Street during lockdown, according to reports.

The force is not interviewing those who have received questionnaires as part of their inquiries, and could potentially be fined, according to ITV News.

A total of twelve events are being investigated by the Met, including as many as six Mr Johnson is said to have attended. Over 100 questionnaires have been sent out to Whitehall and No10 officials who were allegedly present at the events.

The prime minister received his questionnaire in February and Downing Street has indicated that it would confirm if he had received a fine.

ITV’s Robert Peston said the only officials being interviewed are “witnesses”, whose role is to help the police interpret questionnaires submitted by other people.

An initial round of 20 fixed-penalty notices (FPNs) were issued last week to Downing Street officials as part of Scotland Yard’s investigation, confirming that Covid laws were broken at the heart of Government during lockdown.

The £50 fines are said to have been delivered by email and issued to junior civil servants.

Meanwhile, fines have also been issued to officials who attended a party held on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral on April 16 last year, according to the Guardian.

The parties were said to have been held to mark the departure of former No10 communications chief James Slack and one of the PM’s personal photographers. Officials were said to have broken a swing used by Boris Johnson’s son Wilf and brought a suitcase filled with wine into Downing Street.

An email sent to officials who were fined, seen by the Guardian, said the Met had “assessed that there are reasonable grounds to believe that you committed an offence in contravention of the regulations”.

Elsewhere, policing minister Kit Malthouse said last week that the issuing of fines was evidence that authorities believed the law was broken.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Mr Malthouse said: “A fixed-penalty notice means police have a reasonable belief that you’ve broken the law – you still have a right to challenge it if you want.

“Having said that, the police practice is not routinely to release the names of those who receive fixed penalties, and I don’t see why that rule should be waived for those people who may or may not be in receipt of it in Downing Street.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the fines meant “we now know there was widespread criminality”.

The Standard has contacted the Met Police for comment.

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