Partygate fines: First £50 fines handed out by Met Police over lockdown parties investigation | political news



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The first fines have been handed out to people in government for violating COVID rules at the height of the lockdown.

Officials are said to have received fines believed to be related to an event at the Cabinet Office on June 18, 2020.

The fines, worth £50, were sent to private individuals by email. The names of those involved have not been disclosed.

Read more:
Everything you need to know about the Met’s partygate investigation

The June 2020 event was reportedly a farewell party for a number 10 official and was held in the Cabinet Office building at 70 Whitehall.

The decision to impose fines in connection with one of the less notable events is significant.

Sky News understands that the Metropolitan Police’s investigation has been delayed by the need to consult the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

More about Downing Street parties

A CPS attorney would be needed if the fine recipient decided to fight and take the matter before a magistrates’ court.

The CPS can ask the police to do more work, or instruct them to collect more evidence until it is convinced it can prosecute a case.

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Sky News understands that the Metropolitan Police did not fully consult the CPS at the start of the investigation.

The CPS may have questions about the unusual questionnaires used to get more information from the government.

Any decision by a high-ranking political figure to challenge a fine would be a huge moment for the Metropolitan Police.

Downing Street refuses to say that the imposition of fines is proof of crime – which has been taken in parts of Whitehall as a sign that Boris Johnson would appeal if he were personally fined.

Two ministers – Justice Minister Dominic Raab and International Trade Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan – admitted that the sentences meant breaking laws.

The Met’s investigation includes 12 meetings in 2020 and 2021.

Boris Johnson was one of 100 individuals who received formal legal questionnaires in connection with the investigation, as was Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Police did not name the first individuals to receive sentences or disclose which events they attended.

Downing Street has said it will confirm whether Johnson, Sunak or Cabinet Secretary Simon Case will be fined following the investigation.

What was the party of June 18, 2020?

About 20 people reportedly gathered in the Cabinet Office building at 70 Whitehall for a farewell to a number 10 official.

Wine is said to have been drunk at the event, which happened while strict measures were still in place.

Back then, people were allowed to return to work and exercise outdoors more than once a day, but they were not allowed to congregate indoors or outdoors.

Sir Mark Sedwill, the then cabinet secretary and head of the civil service, is said to have “presented briefly” and kicked off the event.

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