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Downing Street party fines should be issued ‘immediately’ for lockdown rallies UK News

The first installment of fines for breaches of Covid-19 rules as part of the Met Police investigation into the government’s lockdown parties will soon be issued, according to reports.

The Guardian said it understood Fixed Sanctions Notices (FPNs) would be issued “immediately”, although a government source told the PA news agency that would not be the case on Monday. evening. ITV’s Anushka Asthana said she was told the first wave of fines could include “around 20 names”.

The Met is investigating 12 events, including up to six involving Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Read more: Boris Johnson: Leaked Partygate questionnaire shows questions police may have asked PM

Last week it emerged that detectives investigating alleged breaches of the Downing Street and Cabinet Office lockdown during the Covid pandemic in 2020 and 2021 had started interviewing key witnesses. The Met said at the time that more than 100 questionnaires had so far been sent to ministers, aides and staff at the reported gatherings.

There was no official update from Downing Street or the Cabinet Office on Monday evening.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been given a Partygate questionnaire to fill out
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been given a Partygate questionnaire to fill out

The Met said: “We are not giving routine comment and I refer you to our March 21 statement which is still on our website.”

This statement revealed that Partygate detectives had begun interviewing people as witnesses as part of their investigations and said: “At this time we have not made any reference to the Criminal Records Office of the ACRO for the issuance of Fixed Penalty Notices.”

On Monday evening, the AP asked the Met whether, as the Guardian first reported, the force had now made referrals, to which it replied that it was not going beyond the existing statement “for now”.