UK police issue 50 more partygate fines

by IANS |

London, May 13 (IANS) British police has issued more than 50 new fines over breaches of coronavirus lockdown rules at gatherings in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's offices and residence at Downing Street.

"As of Thursday, Operation Hillman, the investigation into breaches of Covid-19 regulations in Whitehall and Downing Street, has made more than 100 referrals for fixed penalty notices (FPNs) to the ACRO Criminal Records Office," the Metropolitan Police (Met) was quoted as saying.

This follows two tranches of fines issued previously, 20 at the end of March and more than 30 in April. Johnson and his wife Carrie, as well as Chancellor Rishi Sunak, were among those fined last month.

Downing Street confirmed that Johnson has not received any further fines in the latest round.

The Met added in the statement that "the investigation remains live" and more fines are expected to be issued in the future.

Parties held at Downing Street in 2020 and 2021 have enraged the British public, who were asked to comply with the coronavirus restrictions for many months over the past two years to curb the spread of the virus.

Johnson's premiership has been precarious since the revelation of these illicit gatherings, with calls from opposition parties and even members of his own Conservative Party for him to resign.

The Met launched an investigation at the end of January into 12 alleged events that included a boozy garden party on May 20, 2020, during the country's first Covid-19 lockdown, which Johnson said he mistook for a work event, as well as a birthday party given to him on June 19, 2020.

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