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A police officer interrupted a Downing Street Christmas party when revellers accidentally set off an alarm, Scotland Yard has confirmed.

Detectives investigating parties at No 10 are speaking to an officer who witnessed the gathering of around 50 on December 18, 2020, deputy Met commissioner Sir Stephen House said.

The force is understood to have sent questionnaires to 88 people, including Boris Johnson, about gatherings that may have breached lockdown rules.

Civil servant Sue Gray – whose inquiry into parties found ‘failures of leadership and judgment’ – is also said to have passed 300 photos to police. 

Deputy Met commissioner Sir Stephen House said detectives investigating parties at No 10 are speaking to an officer who witnessed the gathering of around 50 on December 18, 2020

Deputy Met commissioner Sir Stephen House said detectives investigating parties at No 10 are speaking to an officer who witnessed the gathering of around 50 on December 18, 2020

Deputy Met commissioner Sir Stephen House said detectives investigating parties at No 10 are speaking to an officer who witnessed the gathering of around 50 on December 18, 2020

The Metropolitan Police is understood to have sent questionnaires to 88 people, including Boris Johnson, about gatherings that may have breached lockdown rules

The Metropolitan Police is understood to have sent questionnaires to 88 people, including Boris Johnson, about gatherings that may have breached lockdown rules

The Metropolitan Police is understood to have sent questionnaires to 88 people, including Boris Johnson, about gatherings that may have breached lockdown rules

Sir Stephen said: ‘One officer was involved in responding with a civilian custodian, who works for No 10, to a silent alarm we believe had been pressed in error. That officer was spoken to by Sue Gray and will be spoken to by ourselves.’

The revelation led to questions over why the officer did not intervene if they had witnessed a potentially illegal gathering.

But Sir Stephen said officers guarding Downing Street were there to prevent attacks rather than monitor gatherings at No 10.

‘Armed officers do not routinely walk through the Cabinet Office or No 10,’ he added.

Sir Stephen revealed the probe into parties - including a gathering in May 2020 (pictured) - was expected to conclude in weeks rather than months

Sir Stephen revealed the probe into parties - including a gathering in May 2020 (pictured) - was expected to conclude in weeks rather than months

Sir Stephen revealed the probe into parties – including a gathering in May 2020 (pictured) – was expected to conclude in weeks rather than months

Sir Stephen revealed the probe into parties was expected to conclude in weeks rather than months. New questionnaires would be sent out if more suspects emerged.

The questionnaire is a ‘written statement under caution’, Scotland Yard has confirmed, making Mr Johnson the first British Prime Minister to be subjected to this level of police scrutiny.

It also emerged yesterday that Sir Stephen has written to the Home Secretary accusing London Mayor Sadiq Khan of failing to follow due process in forcing Met chief Dame Cressida Dick out of her job. Mr Khan’s office denied this. 

Source: Daily Mail

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