Police launch new Partygate investigation and reopen another after fresh evidence emerges

4 July 2023, 17:17 | Updated: 4 July 2023, 17:52

The gathering was advertised as a 'mingle and jingle'
The gathering was advertised as a 'mingle and jingle'. Picture: Alamy/Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

The Metropolitan Police has said it will reopen one of its Partygate investigations, as well as launch a new probe, in light of new evidence.

A spokesperson for the police force said: "The Met is now re-opening an investigation into potential breaches of the regulations at an event in Matthew Parker Street on 14 December 2020."

They continued: "Based on the information available at the time, that investigation did not lead to FPNs, but outcome letters sent to some participants stated that 'the Metropolitan Police reserves the right to revisit this decision in the event that further significant evidence comes to light.'

"The receipt of video evidence has resulted in the Met revisiting and updating the assessment."

Former Tory hopeful Shaun Bailey helped organised the gathering
Former Tory hopeful Shaun Bailey helped organised the gathering. Picture: Getty

"Following assessment of material relating to a gathering in Parliament, the Met is opening an investigation into potential breaches of the Regulations at an event on 8 December 2020," they added.

The Met originally decided against investigating the alleged gathering, which former Tory mayor candidate Shaun Bailey organised.

Read More: Partygate investigator Sue Gray broke Civil Service code by discussing a job with Labour, inquiry finds

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The new investigation relates to an alleged gathering in Parliament during the same month.

Thames Valley police have said they will not investigate alleged gatherings at Chequers, the prime minister's country home, when Boris Johnson was still in Number 10.

Met Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley
Met Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley. Picture: Getty

The fresh evidence was described as "colourful" by Met Police chief Sir Mark Rowley on Global's The News Agents podcast.

Sir Mark said in June: "We're not routinely opening every minor historic allegation. So, if you phoned up about your neighbour from three years ago, we're not going to reopen that.

"But clearly cases that are particularly serious, particularly concerning, we will do.

"As people know, that case has been previously looked at based on a photo. It's very obvious a video tells a much richer, clearer story than a photo. And so, the team are looking at that with a view to whether that provides a basis for further investigation.

"I think we can all we can all see the colourful nature of the video and how much it tells a story, way beyond the original photo.

"I need to let the team work through that. I think we can all guess which way it will go."

He said ‘the same procedures as before’ and ‘the same principles as before’ would be applied to the investigation.