The Metropolitan Police announced that 20 cases of lockdown violations in Downing Street and Whitehall will be subject to fixed fines; This is the first slice of fines to be imposed since the ‘Partygate’ scandal that rocked Boris Johnson’s government this winter.
The Met won’t reveal the identity of those who received the fines, although Johnson’s office says it will reveal whether the Prime Minister himself has received one and has not so far.
The force said as part of officers’ investigation into 12 social incidents that occurred in Westminster between 2020 and 2021, the rest of the country is living under strict social restrictions to contain the coronavirus. pandemic, in most cases not being able to go to work, meet friends or care for sick relatives.
Mr Johnson is believed to have attended at least six of the 12 meetings on probation and is among more than 100 others, along with his wife, Carrie Johnson, and Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, who were recently asked by officers to fill out a questionnaire about the case.
As the investigation continues (promising more waves of bad publicity for the government), more fines could come two months after senior officer Sue Gray presented to the Met the evidence she had gathered as part of her own internal investigation into Partygate. Putting Mr Johnson’s premiership in serious jeopardy before the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24 allowed him to play a great statesman on the world stage and removed the case from the media attention.
Only a short, revised version of Ms. Gray’s report has so far been published, which has been diagnosed as a “leadership failure” by the Government for allowing an informal party culture to flourish in Downing Street with a blissful indifference to the rules. government had set. For voters, it results in secret “bring your own drink” garden parties, birthday celebrations, and “wine Fridays.”
Labor deputy leader Angela Rayner appeared on Sky News on Tuesday morning, reiterating her demand for Mr Johnson to resign if he was ultimately fined for violating Covid-19 regulations, arguing that his position would be “untenable”, the number one call from Mr Johnson’s Tory colleagues. Support arrived earlier this year and could be back.
But the Prime Minister has repeatedly denied that he had done anything wrong, acknowledging that he had attended a Downing Street party but believed it was a business event, and expressed his disgust at a video obtained by ITV News from his own staff that appeared to mock the suggestion. He was hosting secret Christmas parties in December, an incident that led to the tearful resignation of his deputy, Allegra Stratton.
Recipient of a fixed fine notice for violating Covid restrictions will be fined £100 for the first offense and up to £200 if not paid within 14 days.
The scope of the fine imposed is doubled for each violation of the law, up to a maximum of £10,000.
If someone chooses to challenge the notice, the police will look into the matter and decide whether to withdraw it or take the matter to court.
The administration of fines is handled by Acro, the Judicial Registry of England and Wales, which receives and processes the required payments.
A Fixed Penalty Notice is reserved only for minor infractions such as parking violations and is not considered a warning or criminal offense.
However, failure to pay the fine may result in prosecution.