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12 April 2022

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak to be fined over lockdown parties, as well as PM’s wife Carrie

12 April 2022

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have been told they will be fined as part of a police probe into allegations of lockdown parties held at Downing Street.

Carrie Johnson, the wife of the Prime Minister, has also been told to expect a fixed-penalty notice (FPN), her spokeswoman confirmed.

It comes after the Metropolitan Police announced 30 additional fines on Tuesday in relation to Operation Hillman, which is looking into breaches of Covid-19 regulations at the top of Government.

A No 10 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.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said both Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak should quit following the confirmation, which has come while MPs are away from Westminster on a two-week Easter recess.

Sir Keir said: “Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have broken the law and repeatedly lied to the British public.

“They must both resign.

“The Conservatives are totally unfit to govern. Britain deserves better.”

Police have opted not to name those facing fines, citing traditional practices when dealing with out-of-court matters such as speeding fines, but Downing Street said it would confirm if Mr Johnson was among those being penalised.

Scotland Yard said on Tuesday that it had made at least 50 referrals for fixed-penalty notices – up from 20 at the end of March – to ACRO Criminal Records Office, which is responsible for issuing the fines.

Police have issued further fines as part of their probe into claims of lockdown-busting parties at No 10 (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Wire)

Mr Johnson is understood to have been present at six of the at least 12 events being investigated.

The Prime Minister, speaking in the Commons in December after allegations about parties in Downing Street first emerged, said that “all guidance was followed completely in No 10”.

However, since the police probe commenced, the Conservative Party leader has looked to deflect from answering questions until the inquiry has concluded and has poured his efforts into dealing with the Ukraine crisis.

In his response to Mr Johnson being told to expect a fine, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey called for the Commons’ Easter break to be cut short in order to hold a no confidence vote in the Prime Minister’s leadership.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also joined the chorus of critics urging Mr Johnson to resign, along with London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

The Chancellor, who was in the Cabinet Room at No 10 for Mr Johnson’s birthday on June 19 2020 when up to 30 people are said to have gathered with a cake, had initially dismissed suggestions that he would have to fill out a police questionnaire.

However, he was later sent a legal form to complete and has been told to expect an FPN.

Ms Sturgeon tweeted that the Prime Minister should resign after breaking the law and “repeatedly lying to parliament about it”, adding: “And he should take his out of touch Chancellor with him.”

Carrie Johnson, an environmentalist and former director of communications for the Tories, has also been confirmed as one of those facing a fine.

She reportedly held a so-called Abba flat party on November 13 2020, apparently to celebrate the PM’s former chief aide Dominic Cummings being ousted.

The mother-of-two was also said to have been one of those present at Mr Johnson’s birthday bash five months beforehand.

A spokesman for Mrs Johnson said: “In the interests of transparency, Mrs Johnson can confirm she has been notified that she will receive a fixed penalty notice.

“She has not yet received any further details about the nature of the FPN.”

Bereaved families have said there is “simply no way” the Prime Minister and Chancellor can continue in post.

If they had any decency they would be gone by tonight

Lobby Akinnola, spokesman for Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, said the pair “broke the law” and “took us all for mugs”.

“If they had any decency they would be gone by tonight,” he said.

Veteran Tory MP Sir Roger Gale, a vocal critic of the Prime Minister, said now was not the time to “unseat” Mr Johnson, with Russia’s attack on Ukraine to deal with.

The North Thanet MP told the PA news agency there was an “international crisis” and that nothing should be done to “destabilise the coalition” against Russian president Vladimir Putin.

He added: “The Prime Minister has said categorically no rules were broken and nothing untoward took place.

“That is patently wrong and he now has to acknowledge that it’s wrong.”

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