Ex-Met standards boss defends lack of No10 party investigation

13 January 2022, 16:05

Shelagh Fogarty grilled former Met Police standards boss Stephen Roberts over No10's parties.

By Tim Dodd

Shelagh Fogarty clashed with former Met police standards boss Stephen Roberts over the force's lack of investigation into Downing Street's alleged lockdown parties.

It comes as the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan told LBC that the leaked email from principal private secretary Martin Reynolds, inviting more than 100 Downing Street employees to BYOB garden party in May 2020, was a "smoking gun" for police to investigate.

It follows Boris Johnson's admission that he attended a "bring your own booze" party at Downing Street in May 2020, with the Met confirming that it had been in contact with the Cabinet Office over the email.

Shelagh asked Mr Roberts what was "so different" about Whitehall that meant it wouldn't be investigated by police.

"This is a past event," Mr Roberts replied, to which Shelagh said "every event is a past event".

Mr Roberts said: "There's a world of difference between an event happening now, when for example an officer sees people having a party in their front garden - where there is harm that can be prevented - and an event that has taken place something like 18 months ago, where, whatever harm may have been done by that event, it's happened."

Downing St Xmas party investigation not in 'public interest' for Met

Shelagh challenged Mr Roberts, saying that if she went to the police to report an assault from two years ago, they would investigate it.

Read more: Beleaguered Boris cancels trip to vaccine centre after family member catches Covid

"That isn't actually what I said. Harm can't be prevented, that's quite true, but more serious offences would be investigated," Mr Roberts replied, giving the example of historic sex abuse.

Shelagh said: "I don't think you can hear how unwilling to look, this makes you and the Met look. You look like you don't want to look through that door, like it would kill you to look through that door at what happened."

Arguing against this, Mr Roberts said the Met did investigate and prosecute MPs over the expenses scandal.

Read more: 'National treasure' Jonathan Van-Tam to step down as deputy chief medical officer

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