May 26, 2022

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UK’s Johnson to be fined over Downing Street lockdown parties

UK’s Johnson to be fined over Downing Street lockdown parties

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie Johnson and UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak are to receive fines for breaching strict coronavirus lockdown rules, government statements said on Tuesday.

Police have been investigating 12 gatherings at Downing Street and the Cabinet Office after an internal inquiry found Johnson’s staff had enjoyed alcohol-fuelled parties, with the British leader attending a few of the events himself.

“The prime minister and chancellor of the exchequer have today received notification that the Metropolitan Police intend to issue them with fixed penalty notices,” a government spokesperson said.

Subsequently Carrie Johnson’s spokesperson said in a statement: “Mrs Johnson can confirm she has been notified that she will receive a fixed penalty notice (FPN). She has not yet received any further details about the nature of the FPN.”

These announcements come after the police said they would issue more than 50 fixed penalty notices, or fines, to those who attended gatherings in Johnson’s offices and residence in breach of Covid-19 lockdown rules.

The scandal has simmered since the Mirror newspaper published in November the first reports of Christmas parties taking place in Downing Street in December 2020.

There was particular outcry across the nation when it was revealed in January that staff had partied late into the night in Downing Street on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral in April 2021, when mixing indoors was banned. Queen Elizabeth II was famously photographed sitting alone at the funeral due to Covid restrictions. Johnson’s office apologised to the queen and said Johnson was at his country residence that night.

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In reaction to Johnson, his wife and the chancellor receiving fines, his political opponents have urged the prime minister to resign over the issue.