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Boris Johnson is to be fined for breaking the law by attending an illegal Partygate event, No10 confirmed today.
The Prime Minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak are among a tranche of 30 more fixed penalty notices dished out by Scotland Yard today.
It means Mr Johnson is the first serving Prime Minister to have been found to have broken the law while in Downing Street.
The news will place huge pressure on the PM, who has faced called from opponents and within his own party to resign if sanctioned. He has resisted giving a definite answer.
Questions will also be raised over his honesty towards MPs. Last year he told the Commons that ‘all guidance was followed completely in No 10’.
The Metropolitan Police did not disclose if Boris Johnson was among those to be sanctioned with a £50 fine. Downing Street initially indicated that he was not.
But this afternoon a No10 spokeswoman said: ‘The Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have today received notification that the Metropolitan police intend to issue them with fixed penalty notices. We have no further details, but we will update you again when we do.’
The statement did not mention Carrie Johnson. But the only Partygate event attended by Rishi Sunak was a party she organised and attended for the Prime Minister’s 56th birthday in the summer of 2020.
The Prime Minister has yet to publicly acknowledge that the fines being issued by the police are evidence of law-breaking by senior figures in his Government and Whitehall.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer demanded both the Pm and Chancellor quit, saying: ‘Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have broken the law and repeatedly lied to the British public. They must both resign.’
The Metropolitan Police did not disclose if Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured in Kyiv at the weekend) was among those to be sanctioned.
Scotland Yard said it had referred a half-century of cases to the ACRO Criminal Records Office ‘for breaches of Covid-19 regulations’ in 2020 and 2021.
‘I think this just not only blows his defence but calls into question his honesty and his integrity.’
Scotland Yard said it had referred a further 30 on top of the 20 it had already revealed to the ACRO Criminal Records Office ‘for breaches of Covid-19 regulations’ in 2020 and 2021.
Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said: ‘These fines expose the shocking scale of the criminality in Boris Johnson’s Number 10.
‘The police have now completely shredded Johnson’s claims that no laws were broken. He cannot be trusted and cannot continue as Prime Minister.
‘No other leader in any other organisation would be allowed to continue after law-breaking on this scale. If Boris Johnson won’t resign, Conservative MPs must show him the door.’
Representatives of bereaved families said it is ‘indisputable’ that widespread rule-breaking occurred.
Calling on the Prime Minister to resign, Matt Fowler, co-founder of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, said: ‘There you have it – it’s now indisputable that whilst bereaved families were unable to be at their loved ones’ sides in their last moments, or stood at their funerals alone, the people responsible for protecting us in Downing St were partying and rule breaking en masse.
‘It’s a reality that is unbelievably painful for bereaved families like mine to face as we try and move forward with our lives.
‘It’s plain as day that there was a culture of boozing and rule breaching at the highest level of Government, whilst the British public was making unimaginable sacrifices to protect their loved ones and communities.’
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the announcement of at least 30 more fines relating to the partygate saga has ‘blown the Prime Minister’s defence out of the water’.
In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: ‘The investigation into allegations of breaches of Covid-19 regulations in Whitehall and Downing Street continues to progress.
‘As of Tuesday, 12 April 2022, we have made over 50 referrals for fixed penalty notices (FPN) to the ACRO Criminal Records Office for breaches of Covid-19 regulations who, following the referral, issue the FPNs to the individual.
‘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.’
Mr Johnson has continually stonewalled over whether the issuing of the FPNs means the law was broken by people within his administration, saying he wants to wait until the Operation Hillman probe is completed before commenting.
But his own ministers have been less circumspect in recent weeks, with Cabinet members among those who have publicly accepted there was illegality in No10.