Partygate Police Fines: Will Anyone Resign?

The Metropolitan Police are set to issue the first fines “soon” to those who attended lockdown busting parties at Downing Street at the height of the pandemic.

in one press release Issued today, Scotland Yard announced it was handing out a first tranche of 20 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) “for breaching Covid-19 regulations”, adding that a “significant” amount of investigative material “is still to be assessed ‘ and more fines can be imposed when ‘the proof threshold is reached’.

The identities of those who have been fined will not be revealed by the police, in accordance with the rules for issuing other fines and fines. Police also won’t confirm how many people were expelled for fines at each individual event surveyed because “providing a glitch at this point may lead to the identification of individuals,” the Met said.

The fines come more than two months after the force began examining material from an inquiry in Whitehall conducted by a senior official Sue Grey. She is said to have provided police investigators with more than 300 photos and 500 pages of material which their inquiry believes show possible rule-breaking at Downing Street and Whitehall while the country was in lockdown at the height of the pandemic.

Questionnaires were given to more than 100 people by the Met as part of the research referred to below Operation Hillmana police investigation into 12 separate events that took place between 2020 and 2021.

Questionnaires sent include the Prime Minister Boris Johnsonwho is believed to have been present at six of the alleged lockdown gatherings, as well as his wife Carrie, the head of civil service Simon Case and the prime minister’s former chief private secretary, Martin Reynolds.

Will there be layoffs?

Today is significant for No. 10 and the public service as the Met has ruled that “laws have been broken at the heart of government,” it said The guard. The scandal surrounding what has become known as Partygate has “repeatedly” threatened Johnson’s premiership and prompted a number of his own backbench MPs to call for a no-confidence vote in him.

But while No 10 has vowed to reveal whether the Prime Minister will receive an FPN for lockdown violations, those fined today are believed to be the “simplest of cases” and the “low-hanging fruit”, he said itv‘s political editor, Robert Peston. These are likely all officials who have openly admitted wrongdoing in their questionnaires or public statements.

Government sources speak out Politically‘s Alex Wickham said they expect those who are fined “not to quit their jobs”.

Johnson and others who have denied wrongdoing are likely to be dealt with at a later date. But ministers have backed the prime minister and publicly expressed their confidence he will not be fined.

Tory party co-leader Oliver Dowden said LBC last week: “The prime minister makes it very clear that no fine will be imposed on him because he is convinced that he has not broken the law.”

Others were more reluctant to express their unreserved support. Asked on Sky News whether Johnson should resign if he is found to have broken Covid laws, Children and Family Secretary Will Quince declined to comment.

“I understand the great public interest. I fully understand the considerable uproar that has been caused. The events that took place should not have happened,” he told the broadcaster. “As Education Secretary, but more importantly, it is simply not appropriate for me to be commented on as there is an ongoing live Metropolitan Police investigation.”

But if Johnson is fined, a number of senior Conservative MPs have privately said they expect a vote of no confidence to be sparked, The Guardian reported. Yet two Conservative MPs, Douglas Ross and Andrew Bridgen, have already withdrawn their letters of no confidence, “citing the inappropriateness of leadership competition at a time when Russia has invaded Ukraine,” the newspaper said.

For the prime minister, however you look at it, the “political reality” of today’s Met announcement is “quite uncomfortable,” he said The Telegraph‘s political editor, Ben Riley-Smith.

While Johnson’s position is “much more stable now than it was two months ago” – like world events like the war in Ukraine Pushed to the top of the news agenda – his party’s “new entity” will be “put to the test” in the coming weeks as more fines are imposed and more information emerges about alleged lockdown breaches. Partygate Police Fines: Will Anyone Resign?

Fry Electronics Team

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