Met Police issue around 50 more fines in Downing Street investigation

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More than 100 fines have now been handed out by the Metropolitan Police for breaching Covid regulations in Whitehall and Downing Street

At least 50 other fines have been handed out by the Metropolitan Police as part of their investigation into Covid lockdown parties in Downing Street and Whitehall.

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The force said that in its latest update on Thursday (Aug.

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Around 50 other fines were imposed by police as part of the Partygate investigation (Photo: Getty Images)

A total of 20 fines were first imposed at the end of March, followed by more than 30 in the last month. This means that around 50 additional fines were imposed in the last wave, bringing the total to over 100.

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The force said: “As of Thursday May 12, Operation Hillman, the investigation into breaches of Covid-19 regulations at Whitehall and Downing Street, has received more than 100 referrals for fixed notices (FPNs) to the ACRO Criminal Records Office performed.

“These transfers have continued throughout the period since our last update on Tuesday April 12 and the investigation remains active.”

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The identities of those who have received fines will not be disclosed by police, as is customary when FPNs are issued, but Downing Street has clarified that it will be released if further fines are received by the Prime Minister, the Chancellor or the Cabinet Secretary .

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is understood not to have received another fine in the latest update.

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Less than 10 previously confirmed fines were received by Boris Johnson, his wife Carrie and Rishi Sunak within hours of the FPN being issued.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer and his deputy Angela Rayner are currently being investigated by Durham Police over an incident in April last year which allegedly broke Covid rules. Both say they will resign if they are fined.

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What did Boris Johnson say about the fine?

He said at the time: “Today I received a penalty notice from the Metropolitan Police in relation to a Downing Street event that took place on 19 June 2020.

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“Let me say right away, I have paid the fine and I would like to extend my sincere apologies.

“There was a brief gathering in the Cabinet Room just after 2pm, lasting less than 10 minutes, during which the people I have worked with conveyed their well wishes.

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“During that time, it never occurred to me that this could have been a violation of the rules. The police have found otherwise and I fully respect the outcome of their investigation.”

Mr Johnson has rejected calls to resign after being fined despite facing increasing pressure from opposition parties to quit.

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Cabinet has given its support to the Prime Minister and while some Tory MPs have said he should go, Mr Johnson’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine appears to have secured his position for the time being.

Which parties are being investigated?

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The Met Police are investigating 12 gatherings that took place behind closed doors at Downing Street and Whitehall while Covid restrictions were in place.

Assemblies currently under investigation as part of Operation Hillman include:

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  • A garden party in Downing Street which took place on May 20th 2020
  • A birthday celebration held for Boris Johnson on June 19, 2020 in the Cabinet Room
  • A farewell party for a special adviser on November 13, 2020

The PM is said to have attended all three of these parties, but another nine are also under investigation.

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