Monday, May 16, 2022

UK police say more than 50 fines issued over Downing Street lockdown gatherings

The fines have confirmed that unprecedented regulations to protect the nation from Covid-19 were been broken by officials at the heart of the government that designed them.

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British police said on Tuesday they had now made more than 50 referrals for fines over breaches of coronavirus lockdown rules at gatherings in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s offices and residence.

Police are investigating 12 gatherings held at Downing Street and the Cabinet Office after an internal inquiry found Johnson’s staff had enjoyed alcohol-fuelled parties, with the British leader attending a few of the events himself.

There was no immediate comment from Johnson’s Downing Street office, which has said it would confirm if the prime minister himself had been fined.

Last month, police said an initial 20 fixed penalty notices would be issued and further fines were still possible.

“We are making every effort to progress this investigation at speed, this includes continuing to assess significant amounts of investigative material from which further referrals may be made,” police said in a statement.

The fines have confirmed that unprecedented regulations to protect the nation from Covid-19 were been broken by officials at the heart of the government that designed them.

The police have said they will not identify the recipients of the fines, but the government’s former head of propriety and ethics, Helen MacNamara, has said she was among those who had received a fine.

Opposition parties have said Johnson should resign over the rule-breaking.

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