The Metropolitan Police has concluded its Partygate probe with 126 people being issued with fixed penalty notices.
Scotland Yard had been investigating lockdown breaches in Downing Street and Whitehall and on Thursday said it had issued fines to 53 men and 73 women, with some individuals receiving multiple fines, for events on eight separate dates.
Has Boris Johnson been fined?
Police have told Boris Johnson he faces no further action over lockdown breaches, Downing Street said, after the Metropolitan Police concluded its partygate investigation with a total of 126 fixed-penalty notices.
No 10 said the Prime Minister was “pleased” the investigation had concluded and that officers had told Mr Johnson he would not receive a second fine, having received one for the event on his 56th birthday.
It is understood the Prime Minister’s wife Carrie Johnson has also been told she faces no further action while Chancellor Rishi Sunak was also yet to receive another fine, after both were fined over the Prime Minister’s birthday gathering in June 2020.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said a second fine has not been issued to Boris Johnson, adding: “The Met has confirmed that they are taking no further action with regards to the Prime Minister.”
A source close to the Prime Minister told The Mirror that Mr Johnson had been told by Scotland Yard that he would only face a limited inquiry, with only two of the six gatherings he attended being allegedly investigated.
Police also said Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, who had to recuse himself from running the inquiry after reports of a Cabinet Office Christmas party surfaced, would not be fined, Downing Street confirmed.
What have police said?
The conclusion of Operation Hillman into partygate allegations paves the way for the publication of senior civil servant Sue Gray’s inquiry.
Acting Deputy Commissioner Helen Ball, of the Met, said in a statement: “There is no doubt that the pandemic impacted all of us in so many ways and strong feelings and opinions have been expressed on this particular issue.
“When Covid regulations were introduced, the Met was clear that whilst we would not routinely investigate breaches of regulations retrospectively, there may be occasions when it would be appropriate to do so.
“The information that we received with regard to the alleged breaches in Downing Street and Whitehall was sufficient to reach our criteria to begin such an investigation.
“Our investigation was thorough and impartial and was completed as quickly as we could, given the amount of information that needed to be reviewed and the importance of ensuring that we had strong evidence for each FPN referral.
“This investigation is now complete.”
She said it was possible that people would still receive partygate fines over the coming days.
“We have made some referrals today, so it is possible that people will hear in the next 24 to 48 hours,” she said.
She also said Scotland Yard had no objection to senior civil servant Sue Gray publishing her report on partygate.
“We have no objections at all to Sue Gray publishing her report and she will make her decisions now as to the next steps she wants to take, I’m sure.”
How much did the investigation cost?
At the Met’s last update on May 12 the force had made referrals for more than 100 FPNs to the Acro Criminal Records Office.
Scotland Yard declined to identify anyone involved in the investigation but disclosed that it cost around £460,000.
A team of 12 detectives examined 345 documents, including emails, door logs, diary entries, witness statements and 204 questionnaires.
They also examined 510 photographs and CCTV images.
There were no interviews under caution, with officers instead relying on answers to questionnaires.
Six separate types of offending were identified, including breaching rules for holding an indoor gathering of multiple people, including when London was under Tier 4 restrictions.
One of the dates in which fines were issued for was November 13 2020, a date in which police investigated two events, including one in the Prime Minister’s Downing Street flat.
What is happening with the Sue Gray report?
Officials said the aim is to publish her potentially damning report as soon as possible, although realistically this means next week looks likely.
No 10 said it will publish the full Gray report “as soon as possible” after she hands it over.
Conservative former chief whip Mark Harper (Forest of Dean) called on the Commons leader to confirm “that Sue Gray’s report will be published in full next week” and “that the Prime Minister will be coming to the House next week to make a full statement to be questioned on this very important matter”.
Speaking during Commons Business Questions, Mr Harper said: “The leader of the House will be aware that the Metropolitan Police has announced it’s concluded Operation Hillman, its investigation into behaviour in Downing Street and Whitehall.
“He’ll also remember on Wednesday 9 February, the Prime Minister gave me an assurance at the despatch box that as soon as inquiries were concluded, he would publish Sue Gray’s report immediately and in full and the Prime Minister has also said that when the inquiries were concluded, he would be able to say more on this matter and I’m sure he would intend that his words, his first words would be to this House.
“So can the leader first of all confirm that Sue Gray’s report will be published in full next week before the House rises for the Whitsun recess and that the Prime Minister will be coming to the House next week to make a full statement to be questioned on this very important matter?”
Commons Leader Mark Spencer replied: “I am aware of those commitments made at this despatch box, I see no reason why those commitments won’t be delivered upon and I shall make sure his comments are fed directly back to those who will make those decisions.”
Leader of the Liberal Democrats Sir Ed Davey tweeted: “Boris Johnson’s Downing Street was fined more times for breaking Covid laws than any other address in the country.
“The full Sue Gray report should now be published without delay.
“The public made huge sacrifices while Boris Johnson partied, they deserve the full truth.”
This article will continue to be updated