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

The first tranche of fines for Covid-19 rule breaches as part of the Met police investigation into government lockdown parties will soon be issued, according to reports.

The Guardian said it understands the fixed penalty notices (FPNs) will be issued “imminently”, although a Government source told the PA news agency it would not be on Monday night. ITV’s Anushka Asthana said she had been told the first wave of fines could include “around 20 names”.

The Met is investigating 12 events, including as many as six which Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to have been at.

Read more: Boris Johnson: Leaked Partygate questionnaire shows questions police may have asked PM

Last week it emerged that detectives investigating alleged Downing Street and Cabinet Office lockdown breaches during the Covid pandemic in 2020 and 2021, had begun interviewing key witnesses. The Met said at that time more than 100 questionnaires had so far been sent out to ministers, aides and staff members at the reported gatherings.

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

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was sent a partygate questionnaire to fill out
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was sent a partygate questionnaire to fill out

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.”

On Monday evening PA asked the Met if, as the Guardian first reported, the force had now made any referrals, to which it responded that it was not going beyond the existing statement “at this time”.

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