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04 April 2022

Whitehall’s ex-ethics chief Helen MacNamara admits lockdown-breaking party fine

04 April 2022

A former senior Whitehall official has confirmed she has paid a fine for a lockdown-busting party.

Helen MacNamara, the former deputy cabinet secretary, said she was “sorry for the error of judgment I have shown”.

She was reported to have received the fixed penalty notice (FPN) in connection with a leaving do held in the Cabinet Office on June 18 2020.

I am sorry for the error of judgment that I have shown

Ms MacNamara, who now works for the Premier League, said: “I am sorry for the error of judgment I have shown. I have accepted and paid the fixed penalty notice.”

She was among the initial group of people to be issued with an FPN following the Metropolitan Police investigation into Downing Street and Whitehall parties during England’s coronavirus restrictions and is the first to confirm they have paid a penalty.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Ms MacNamara, who was in charge of Whitehall propriety and ethics at the time, received a £50 fine after police concluded she had broken Covid laws by attending a leaving party for Hannah Young, a Downing Street aide, who was moving to New York to take up a role with the British Consulate General.

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