British police will fine approximately 20 people for attending parties hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his staff during the country’s COVID-19 lockdowns. According to The Associated Press, several other people could face penalties for the parties as well.
The AP was told by police that they would not identify those who were fined, but Johnson’s office has stated that if the prime minister receives a notice, he will be informed.
According to the police, authorities are working through a “significant amount of investigative material” and more fines may be imposed based on their findings, according to the news service.
According to the Associated Press, some members of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party have called for Johnson’s resignation if he is fined for violating his own COVID-19 restrictions.
According to reports, over 100 people were sent questionnaires and interviewed by police in connection with the “partygate” scandal.
Despite the government imposing lockdowns and other restrictions that kept the rest of the population away from family and friends, Johnson’s staff held “bring your own booze” office parties, “wine time Fridays” and birthday celebrations throughout 2020 and 2021, according to the AP.
While Johnson has reportedly denied any wrongdoing, he has admitted to attending a “bring your own booze” party in May of 2020, claiming that he thought it was a work event at the time.
In recent weeks, some of the political pressure has subsided. Opposition parties continue to call for the prime minister’s resignation, but due to the Ukraine crisis, some Tory MPs are more hesitant.
Conservatives, on the other hand, are deeply uncomfortable with the idea of lockdown parties where everyone else is forbidden to mix. They’ll be watching to see who gets fined and how the Prime Minister reacts.
Regardless of what happens next, police have stated that they believe Covid laws were broken in government buildings where they were being enacted.
Remember how the prime minister claimed in December that all guidelines had been followed and that no parties had taken place?
According to a campaign group for bereaved relatives of people who died as a result of Covid, the prime minister “should have resigned months ago over this”
“It’s crystal clear now that whilst the British public rose to the challenge of making enormous sacrifices to protect their loved ones and their communities, those at 10 Downing Street failed.” the group said in a statement.
A No. 10 spokesman said he did not believe Mr Johnson had misled the House of Commons, adding, “You will hear from the prime minister at the conclusion of the Met’s investigation.”
The spokesman also stated that Mr Johnson had not been fined and that No. 10 would notify the public if this changed.