The Met says it will continue to issue firm notices for up to 12 No. 10 parties but will not provide updates for at least 13 days when voting in the local elections is over
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Keir Starmer has launched a scathing attack on the Met police for refusing to disclose how many partygate fines they issue.
The Met says it will continue to issue firm notices for up to 12 No. 10 parties but will not provide updates for at least 13 days when voting in the local elections is over.
But in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Mirror, the nation’s former chief prosecutor hit back: “They should continue to make their decisions and make those decisions public as before.
“And the Prime Minister must disclose whether he will receive further fines. The Met police should not have changed their practice.
“Criminal charges are constantly being raised, elections or not. It is in the public interest to know who received fines, particularly those high in government.”
The penalties for the May 20, 2020 bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) event are understood to hit inboxes on Friday.
The Prime Minister arrived at this party – which he described as a “work event” – at 6pm, stayed 25 minutes and then disappeared upstairs for a scheduled 28-minute talk with the Queen at 6.30pm.
But No10 says he has not been fined so far, other than the one 13 days ago for his birthday party in the Cabinet Room on June 19, 2020.
As Parliament falls apart over the Partygate, Jeremy Hunt is now emerging as the favorite among Tory MPs to become the next Prime Minister.
The former health minister’s star has risen while Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s has fallen over Ms Sunak’s tax affairs.
And insiders now believe Mr Hunt would have the powerful backing of former Prime Minister Theresa May, who has made no secret of her disdain for her successor’s messy, outlaw office.
A Whitehall source said: “Hunt is a conservative One Nation like them and so I think he would have their support.
“That’s the direction she wanted the party to go, but she never got the chance and had to watch Boris Johnson destroy everything.”
Ms. May says nothing about who she will choose in a leadership competition. And there was no look from Mr Hunt when the Sunday Mirror put the question to him.
But he already has a campaign team from his last candidacy for leadership, and the challengers he must fend off are Secretary of State Liz Truss and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Tugendhat.
Photo only/PA images)
A senior Tory said: “Both Jeremy and Tom know Liz is the grassroots favourite.
“If she makes the last two, members will overwhelmingly vote for her.”
The Sunday Mirror revealed how Mr Hunt and Mr Sunak forged a “non-aggression pact” for the competition to freeze Ms Truss.
The source added, “Now he has to do the same with Tom if either of them is to get the top job.”
Also in the frame is Trade Secretary Penny Mordaunt, who is already promising MPs ministerial posts if they support her for Prime Minister, and dark horse candidate Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, whose handling of the Ukraine war has impressed the Tories.
Jeremy Hunt, 55.5/1
- Chair, Health Committee
- MP since 2005
- Taught English in Japan
Tom Tugendhat, 48. 13/2
- Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs
- MP since 2015
- Has dual British-French citizenship
Liz Truss, 46.9/2
- foreign minister
- MP since 2010
- Rest of 2016, Brexiteer 2017
Penny Mordaunt, 49.8/1
- Trade Minister
- MP since 2010
- Only female MP in the Royal Naval Reserve
Ben Wallace, 51.
- Secretary of Defense
- MP since 2005
- Have on 1.8. captured an entire active IRA service unit
Boris Johnson thought he could get away with it when the first £50 fine for attending his own birthday party was dropped.
Tory MPs had expected that and said this was no time to change leadership while the PM grappled with the war in Ukraine.
Letters of no confidence to backbench shop steward Sir Graham Brady, who needs 54 of them to trigger a vote, have been withdrawn.
But the mood quickly changed as their inboxes began filling up with emails from angry voters saying the prime minister had to go.
Former Immigration Secretary Caroline Nokes, now Chair of the Committee on Women and Equality, received hundreds.
She wrote: “One outperformed all the others. It came from a constituent who lost his three-year-old child to a terminal illness.
“The family followed all the rules, held a funeral for 30 people, called family and relatives and told them they could not attend the funeral as it would exceed the limit on numbers.”
That was enough to make her decide her letter had to stay inside.
The Labor leader said: “Boris Johnson should do the right thing, which is to leave. But he won’t because he has no shame.
“So it’s up to the Tory MPs. There has been a political change in Parliament. Tory MPs will no longer defend the untenable.
“Now they must move on because only they can remove it.”
A Whitehall insider added: “The penny dropped in MPs that Britain was not really at war. And a change of Prime Minister would not change Britain’s support for Ukraine.”
And when Labor kicked in the boot by demanding an inquiry by the Privileges Committee into whether the Prime Minister had lied to Parliament, Tory opposition to the Prime Minister hardened even further.
First, they were told that if they voted with Labor they would be kicked out of the Parliament party – which meant those who had already tabled letters would invalidate them.
When MPs instead threatened mass abstentions, Mr Johnson gave in to the inevitable and let the inquiry go ahead.
And that’s when even allies started turning against him. Former Chief Whip Mark Harper inserted his letter, predicting a leadership election by July.
Brexit fanatic Steve Baker, who brought down Theresa May, told Mr Johnson: “The gig is over.”
The Privileges Committee is investigating allegations that the PM lied to MPs four times.
It has the power to order No10 to release 300 images taken by official photographers of gatherings to prove it.
If found guilty, Mr Johnson faces suspension from Parliament, a humiliating position for a Prime Minister to find himself in.
Sir Keir said: “Under Ministerial Code, every expectation would be that he should go. But this prime minister lacks basic honesty and integrity.
“But I would be very surprised if it turned out he deliberately misled Parliament so Tory MPs wouldn’t say he has to go.”
And the next big test will take place on May 6, when the results of the municipal elections are in. The loss of 800 Tory councilors and the Prime Minister will survive – more than 1,000 and he is in serious trouble.
One Tory MP said: “We held our noses in 2019 and supported him for all his mistakes because he was an election winner.
“If it turns out he’s a vote loser now, we’ll get rid of him immediately. The Tory party is so ruthless.”
Five flashpoints for Boris Johnson
- 5th of May: local elections. Poor Tory results and Prime Minister walking on razor thin ice.
- May 6: Police are giving details of the fines they imposed during the campaign.
- June: Cabinet Executor Sue Gray’s report will be released once the police have completed their investigation.
- 22nd of July: Parliament leaves for the summer. If Boris is still PM, he’s home and dry until…
- September: When the privileges committee decides if he’s a liar.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/keir-starmer-slams-met-police-26781994 Keir Starmer slams Met police for remaining silent on Partygate fines ahead of election