Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak to receive Met Police fines over Partygate scandal

No.10 confirms Met Police’s intention to issue the PM and chancellor with fixed penalty notices
Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak. Photo: Xinhua/Alamy

By Tevye Markson

12 Apr 2022

The prime minister and chancellor will be fined by the Met Police for breaching Covid rules, No.10 has confirmed.

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak will received fixed penalty notices over the Partygate scandal. 

A No.10 spokesman confirmed that the PM's fine is for a gathering of two or more people indoors in the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street on 19 June 2020. This was a gathering for Johnson's birthday party, which up to 30 people are said to have attended.

This leaves open the possibility of future fines as the PM has been issued questions about multiple events. The PM apologised earlier this year for attending a bring-your-own-booze party in the No.10 garden in May 2020, claiming he believed the function was a “work event”.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called for both politicians to resign, saying they have "broken the law and repeatedly lied to the British public".

So far, 50 people have been handed fixed penalty notices for Covid lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street and other government buildings, as part of the Met’s ongoing criminal investigation into the Partygate scandal.

The police force announced 30 fines today, having announced the first 20 Partygate FPNs last month.

Former Cabinet Office ethics chief Helen MacNamara, who left government in January 2021 for a job at the Premier League, was among those who received the first round of fines.

MacNamara attended a leaving do featuring karaoke for then-No.10 private secretary Hannah Young in June 2020 and reportedly received a £50 fine from the Met. MacNamara said she was “sorry for the error of judgement I have shown”.

Carrie Johnson, the wife of the PM, has also confirmed that she has been fined over Partygate.

While the Met has said it will not publish the names of the people it fines, No.10 had previously said it would say if Johnson or the cabinet secretary Simon Case receive fines.

In a statement this morning, the Met said: “We are making every effort to progress this investigation at speed, this includes continuing to assess significant amounts of investigative material from which further referrals may be made to ACRO [The Criminal Records Office].”

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