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Partygate: Police investigation into Downing Street lockdown breaches ends with 126 fines issued

© PADowning Street
Downing Street

The Metropolitan Police has concluded the investigation into Covid lockdown breaches at Downing Street and Whitehall.

The force said detectives on Operation Hillman, which looked into the partygate scandal, have made 126 referrals for fixed penalty notices (FPNs) to the Acro Criminal Records Office relating to events on eight dates, May 20, June 18 and 19, November 13 and December 17 and 18 in 2020 and January 14 and April 16 in 2021.

The recipients of the fines include 53 men and 73 women, with some people receiving more than one fine.

Police refused to confirm the identity of any of those involved, although No 10 said last month that Johnson and Sunak had each received a FPN for an event on the PM’s 56th birthday.

Johnson’s wife Carrie was also fined for a breach.

The conclusion of Operation Hillman paves the way for the publication of senior civil servant Sue Gray’s inquiry.

Gray published an update on her much-anticipated report in which she said she was limited in what she could say while police investigations were underway.

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.”

The Met said a team of twelve detectives worked through 345 documents, including emails, door logs, diary entries and witness statements, as well as 510 photographs and CCTV images and 204 questionnaires as part of the enquiry.