Govt's former ethics chief pays Partygate fine and apologises for 'error of judgement'

3 April 2022, 22:34 | Updated: 4 April 2022, 15:46

Scotland Yard will reportedly not interview Boris Johnson
Scotland Yard will reportedly not interview Boris Johnson. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

The Government's former ethics chief has apologised for her "error of judgement" after being fined by the Met over the Partygate scandal.

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Helen MacNamara said she has paid the fine she was handed, reportedly in connection with a leaving do held in the Cabinet Office on June 18 2020 to mark the departure of a private secretary.

"I am sorry for the error of judgement I have shown," she said.

"I have accepted and paid the fixed penalty notice."

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Ms MacNamara, who used to be the deputy cabinet secretary, was among the first group to receive a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) from Scotland Yard as part of its investigation into alleged lockdown-breaching parties in Downing Street and Whitehall.

The Daily Telegraph reported that she received a £50 fine on Friday.

Ms MacNamara was the director general of propriety and ethics in the Cabinet Office from 2018 to 2020 and left Government to work for the Premier League.

The purpose of the role was to ensure the highest standards of propriety, integrity and governance within Government.

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It has also been reported that Boris Johnson will not be interviewed by the Metropolitan Police as part of their investigation into alleged lockdown-breaching parties in Downing Street and Whitehall.

This is because the force is not interviewing those who have received questionnaires as part of the inquiries, and could potentially be fined, according to ITV News.

The Met is investigating 12 events, including as many as six Mr Johnson is said to have attended, and has sent out more than 100 questionnaires.

The PM received his in February.

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The only officials being interviewed are "witnesses", whose role is to help the police interpret questionnaires submitted by other people, according to ITV.

PM will have to resign if fined for partygate

An initial round of 20 FPNs were issued as part of Scotland Yard's investigation, confirming police believe coronavirus laws were broken at the heart of Government.

The FPNs include those relating to a party held the night before the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral, according to The Guardian.

The event sparked outrage because it took place just hours before the Queen mourned Prince Philip alone.

The Met declined to comment on the latest reports.