Partygate rumbles on as fines are issued over No.10 parties

Following a formal inquiry into the illegal lockdown parties, police have issued twenty fines to partygoers, both proving their illegality and also calling into question Boris Johnson’s position.

Partygate rumbles on as fines are issued over No.10 parties

At Voice, we covered extensively the series of illegal lockdown parties that had been held at No.10 – ‘Partygate’. The affair culminated in what can be considered a somewhat anticlimactic report by Sue Gray. We are, however, now seeing results from the formal police inquiry that was recommended by the report, as twenty fixed penalty notices (FPNs) have now been issued to attendees of the parties at Downing Street, with more expected to follow.

What do we know?

The police have announced that twenty fines will be issued following their inquiry into these parties. Whoever is facing these fines have twenty-eight days to either pay the fine or to contest it. if the latter, the police will review the fine and decide whether to either withdraw it or take it to the courts. 

This is not the end of it though, as police announced they are still in the process of investigating events, so more fines are possible if they find that there have been further breaches of lockdown regulations by attendees. 

The police have been investigating twelve events and at least three of these have been attended by the PM.

What don’t we know?

Unfortunately, much like the initial report the finer details have all been shrouded with secrecy. We don’t know who exactly is being fined, or whether they will face the standard fine or potentially more. No. 10 has insisted though that it would absolutely announce if a fine had been issued either to the PM or the country’s most senior civil servant, Simon Case.

What now for Boris Johnson?

The PM and his staff’s actions were decried by the public, the opposition and even some Conservatives. Pressure from Labour and the public continues, and there are calls for the prime minister to resign following this; Tory MPs, however, have relented somewhat due to the ongoing crisis between Ukraine and Russia.

One thing is indisputable however, and that is that laws had been broken with the lockdown parties. The fines confirm as much, despite official rhetoric being that they weren't, and that parties weren't even held – something that has transpired to have been untrue.

Angela Rayner has argued that the prime minister's position would be "untenable" if he was to be fined. Ultimately, she suggests “the culture is set from the very top. The buck stops with the prime minister, who spent months lying to the British public, which is why he's got to go.” 

Sir Ed Davey corroborated as much, having similarly announced that “we all know who is responsible. The prime minister must resign, or Conservative MPs must sack him.” 

Conservative opinion however seems much more divided as despite calls by some for him to resign, Matt Hanock defended Johnson, and rebutted that "the big calls" had been made right, and he remains "the best person to lead the country” throughout the ongoing situation in Ukraine. 

Header Image Credit: Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street

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Dheeraj Chutani

Dheeraj Chutani Kickstart

Dheeraj is a recent postgraduate having graduated with a BA and MA in Politics from The University Of Leicester. He is interested in all things politics and current affairs but when he is not catching up with all the latest headlines, he enjoys reading, jogging, weight-lifting and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).

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