London’s Metropolitan Police said earlier Tuesday they had issued more than 50 fines as part of their investigation into gatherings held on government premises in Downing Street and Whitehall while the rest of the country was living under strict pandemic lockdowns. Revelations of the parties sparked national outrage.
The police fines are confirmation that Johnson and Sunak broke Covid-19 laws created by their own government — even though the Prime Minister previously denied some parties were held and insisted all guidance was followed.
It was unclear which gatherings Johnson and Sunak were facing fines over; the government spokesman said they had no further details as of now. Carrie Johnson, the Prime Minister’s wife, will also receive a fine, her spokesperson told CNN.
The so-called “Partygate” scandal, which emerged in late 2021, has sparked the most serious threat to Johnson’s premiership to date. Revelations that the Prime Minister attended several parties had already prompted furious calls for him to resign even before Tuesday’s announcement of a police fine.
Reacting to Tuesday’s development, the main opposition Labour party leader Keir Starmer immediately demanded that Johnson and Sunak step down. “Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have broken the law and repeatedly lied to the British public. They must both resign. The Conservatives are totally unfit to govern. Britain deserves better,” Starmer tweeted.
London mayor Sadiq Khan also called for Johnson to quit, saying “a Prime Minister who breaks the laws his Government makes and then lies about it isn’t fit for office.”
“Families made huge sacrifices and obeyed the law. Many said their last goodbyes to loved ones on the phone while the Prime Minister partied,” Khan added in a statement on Facebook.
The Met Police said the investigation into illegal gatherings in Downing Street continues.
This is a breaking story, more to follow…