First Partygate fines issued following probe into Downing Street parties

1 April 2022, 14:12 | Updated: 1 April 2022, 16:00

The first Partygate fines have been issued by police
The first Partygate fines have been issued by police. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

The first Partygate fines have been issued by police following their probe into Downing Street parties, it is understood.

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The £50 fines are reported to have been delivered by email and issued to junior civil servants.

They are thought to be in connection with a Cabinet Office event on 18 June 2020.

The event held then was a leaving do for Hannah Young - a No10 private secretary.

It was reported that there were about 20 people present and that alcohol was consumed.

Robert Peston said on Friday: "Officials who attended this Number 10 party on 18 June 2020 have received £50 fines.

"They have been notified of the fixed penalty notice (FPN) in emails, not the post."

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The Metropolitan Police said on Tuesday that investigators were referring 20 notices to the ACRO Criminal Records Office, which is responsible for issuing the penalties.

However, it said it would not confirm the number of referrals from each individual event as it could lead to identification of individuals.

They made it clear that more fines may be issued as inquiries continue.

The event in question was not one of those under investigation where Boris Johnson attended.

Earlier, Policing Minister Kit Malthouse became the latest member of the Government to suggest the issuing of FPNs was evidence the police believed the law had been broken.

The Prime Minister has so far dodged the question over whether receipt of a fine would equate to law breaking, with No10 refusing to be drawn into the discussion until the inquiry has finished.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Malthouse said: "A fixed-penalty notice means police have a reasonable belief that you've broken the law - you still have a right to challenge it if you want.

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"Having said that, the police practice is not routinely to release the names of those who receive fixed penalties, and I don't see why that rule should be waived for those people who may or may not be in receipt of it in Downing Street."

No 10 has so far only promised to confirm if Mr Johnson or Cabinet Secretary Simon Case are given a fixed-penalty notice.

Mr Malthouse's comments echoed Justice Secretary Dominic Raab and International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan who both accepted that coronavirus rules had been breached after the first batch of fines was ordered.

Labour leader and former director of public prosecutions Sir Keir Starmer said the fines meant "we now know there was widespread criminality".

Mr Malthouse, who attends Cabinet, said he has not personally received a fine in relation to the Scotland Yard probe, and he would declare it if he did.

"If I got a fixed-penalty notice, I would tell you," he told LBC.

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