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25 Jan, 2022 10:31

Met Police launch investigation into Downing Street parties

Boris Johnson has been under increasing pressure to resign following reports of a lockdown birthday party attended by 30 staff
Met Police launch investigation into Downing Street parties

The Metropolitan Police have confirmed that an investigation has been launched into “a number of events” held at Downing Street over potential breaches of Covid rules.

“I can confirm that the Met is now investigating a number of events that took place at Downing Street and Whitehall in the last two years in relation to potential breaches of Covid-19 regulations,” Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said in a statement on Tuesday.

Speaking to the London Assembly on Tuesday, Dick stated that the investigation was launched after Scotland Yard was provided with information “by the Cabinet Office inquiry team” and following her “officers’ own assessment.”

The announcement comes ahead of the release of a report, expected this week, from senior civil servant Sue Gray, who has been leading an internal inquiry into the allegations of lockdown-breaching parties.

While police are looking into the matter, Dick said that it does not “mean that fixed penalty notices will necessarily be issued in every instance and to every person involved,” advising the London Assembly that she will not give a “running commentary” while her officers investigate.

In recent weeks, British media outlets have reported on a number of events allegedly held at Downing Street and other government departments while strict Covid restrictions were in place in 2020 and 2021, including a ‘Bring Your Own Booze’ event in the Number 10 garden.

On Monday, Downing Street admitted that Boris Johnson had attended a surprise birthday celebration in the Cabinet Room, hosted by his wife, Carrie, during the lockdown in June 2020, when indoor gatherings were banned.

The ongoing Partygate saga has resulted in growing anger from within Johnson’s own Conservative Party, putting his position as prime minister at risk. During the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions session last week, senior Conservative figure David Davis urged Johnson to “go” over the alleged lockdown violations. Another Conservative MP, Christian Wakeford, defected to the Labour Party over the saga earlier that day.