Partygate fines: At least 50 more fixed fines have been handed out as part of investigation into COVID law violations | political news

At least 50 more fines have been issued as a result of the police investigation into breaking lockdowns in Downing Street and Whitehall during the coronavirus restrictions.

But Number 10 has confirmed Prime Minister Boris Johnson is not among those who got a new fixed fine (FPN).

In the latest update to its investigation, the Metropolitan Police said it has made more than 100 referrals for FPNs to the ACRO Criminal Records Office as of Thursday for violations of COVID-19 regulations.

Three fines had previously been issued, with 20 announced in the first wave in late March and more than 30 in April, meaning at least 50 FPNs in the latest wave.

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The identities of those who receive fines are not disclosed by the police, as is common practice when issuing fixed fines.

However, Downing Street has made it clear that they would make it public if the Prime Minister, Chancellor or Cabinet Secretary were given further fines.

When asked if he understands that the Prime Minister and Mr Case were not in the latest installment of fines, the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson told reporters: “That’s right, yes.”

Arriving at a regional cabinet meeting in Staffordshire on Thursday, the prime minister said he is “sure we’ll say enough about that when the thing is done”.

When the second set of fixed fines was revealed in April, it was quickly confirmed that the Prime Minister, his wife Carrie and Chancellor Rishi Sunak were among those punished for violating the government’s own COVID laws in a scandal that “party gate” was named.

read moreEverything you need to know about the Met Police’s partygate investigation

All three were fined £50 for attending a birthday party for the Prime Minister in the Cabinet Room in Downing Street on 19 June 2020.

They have now all paid the fine.

It meant Johnson became the first sitting prime minister to face a penalty for breaking the law.

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100 fines handed out over party gate

Commenting on the news that the Met Police has now issued 100 party gate fines, Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey said: “Boris Johnson stood up in Parliament and said the COVID rules in issue 10 were followed at all times.

“Now 100 fines have been handed out by the police for partygate. It shows the shocking magnitude of the violations of the law in Johnson’s Downing Street and the magnitude of his lies.”

But the culture secretary and education secretary said they still have confidence in Mr Johnson, despite the number of COVID fines in Whitehall and Downing Street exceeding 100.

Nadine Dorries and Nadhim Zahawi were asked to attend a cabinet meeting at a pottery workshop in Staffordshire. The culture secretary said “we will” and Mr Zahawi said “absolutely”.

Meanwhile, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer and his deputy Angela Rayner are currently under investigation by Durham Police into whether an event involving party activists in April last year violated COVID rules.

The investigation was launched after footage surfaced showing him having a beer with colleagues in April 2021 when restrictions were in place.

Both have said: they will resign if they are fined for the violence.

Sir Keir has accused Conservative MPs of “mud-slinging” on the matter.

Labor has rejected any equivalence with the Partygate scandal in Downing Streetwho has shocked the government and is convinced the party can prove that Sir Keir has not broken the lockdown rules.

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Starmer promises to resign if fine

Developments in April renewed calls from opposition parties for the prime minister to step down – while the chancellor was also under pressure to leave – but Mr Johnson’s position appeared secure in the short term.

Although Lord Wolfson resign as Minister of JusticeMr Johnson’s cabinet has given its support to the Prime Minister.

Some Tory MPs have said the Prime Minister must now leave, but Mr Johnson’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine appears to have strengthened his position and led some of his supporters to back their demands for his departure from number 10. reconsidered.

However, further fines for the prime minister could change this.

Mr Johnson has offered a “full apology” for violating his own COVID rules, but has said he will not resign.

Despite further rumblings of discontent within his own party over lockdown-busting parties taking place in Downing Street and Whitehall, the Prime Minister was adamant last month that he will still be prime minister in six months

In April, Conservative MP Robert Largan became the last of more than a dozen of the prime minister’s own backbenchers to call on him to resign.

Mr Largan told voters in a newsletter that he “will not defend the indefensible”.

Earlier in the same week, former Secretary of State Steve Baker, an influential Conservative MP, said: said the prime minister “should be gone long ago”

Meanwhile, William Wragg, fellow Conservative MP and chairman of the Committee on Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs, confirmed that he had submitted a letter expressing no confidence in Mr Johnson’s leadership.

The Metropolitan Police’s investigation into lockdown-breaching parties held in Downing Street and Whitehall still running.

Sky News understands that individuals will still be called for an interview.

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