Downing Street lockdown party fines to be issued ‘imminently’ after gatherings

The first batch of lockdown fines for the parties during covid at Downing Street and the Cabinet Office are due to be issued ‘imminently’, according to reports.

Around 20 fines may be dished out, according to Sky News, although the PA news agency reports a government source has rebuked the fines will be issued on Monday night.

Sky confirmed that the punishments could be handed down by police detectives probing the so-called ‘partygate’ scandal in the “coming hours”.

Metropolitan Police, who are investigating 12 events, including as many as six which Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to have attended, according to Scottish Daily Express.

Last week it emerged that detectives investigating alleged lockdown-busting parties held in Downing Street and the Cabinet Office had begun interviewing key witnesses.

The Prime Minister has been implicated in the covid partygate scandal
The Prime Minister has been implicated in the covid partygate scandal

The Met said at that time more than 100 questionnaires had so far been sent out to people at the reported gatherings.

There was no official update from Downing Street or the Cabinet Office on Monday evening.

The Met said: “We’re not giving a running commentary and I would refer you to our statement from March 21 which is still on our website.”

That statement revealed partygate detectives had started to interview people as witnesses as part of their enquiries, and said: “As yet, we have not made any referrals to the ACRO Criminal Records Office for the issuing of Fixed Penalty Notices.”

Partygate caused outrage when the extent of the gatherings emerged earlier this year. Many of them happened when the public was under harsh lockdown restrictions with one taking place just the day before the Queen was pictured alone at the funeral of her husband Prince Philip.

Boris Johnson has previously claimed some of the gatherings were ‘work events’. It caused a rift between the Prime Minister and Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross, although that appears to have healed.

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