Portsmouth MP calls partygate 'a slap in the face' of rule-abiding residents as 20 fines issued across government

AS POLICE fine more than 20 individuals in the partygate scandal, the MP for Portsmouth South has called the breaching of Covid restrictions a ‘slap in the face’ of rule-abiding people in Portsmouth.

Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 10:08 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st March 2022, 11:24 am

Earlier this year it was alleged that several parties and social events had been held in the prime minister’s home of 10 Downing Street and government buildings across Whitehall in breach of Covid-19 restrictions.

The prime minister’s office was forced to apologise for social gatherings held the night before Prince Philip’s funeral last year, which was severely limited due to Covid-19 rules.

Investigators have now begun to hand out 20 fines over parties and gatherings, the Met said on Tuesday.

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Stephen Morgan MP. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

The identities of those fined will not be disclosed by Scotland Yard.

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But a spokesman from No 10 has insisted that Boris Johnson did not mislead MPs when he told them no lockdown rules had been broken in Downing Street - despite the Metropolitan Police concluding the law was breached.

Mr Johnson is not thought to be among those set to receive a fine at this stage – but he is believed to have been present at six of the at least 12 events under police investigation.

Boris Johnson continues to face flak over the partygate scandal as the police issue fines for Whitehall gatherings that broke Covid restrictions. Photo: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA Wire

According to Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan, the fine are ‘the final confirmation’ that illegal parities did take place.

The MP said: ‘It is disgraceful that while many in Portsmouth and the rest of the country followed their rules, Mr Johnson's government acted like they didn't apply to them.

‘This has been a slap in the face of the millions of people who made huge sacrifices. The public needs full accountability and transparency. The full Sue Gray report and all accompanying evidence must be published immediately.’

Commenting on whether Boris Johnson should resign, Mr Morgan added: ‘My view on Mr Johnson hasn't changed. But he has made it clear he isn't going to resign and Tory MPs don't look like they're going to act.’

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt and Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage were both approached to comment.

The imminent issuing of the fixed penalty notices (FPNs) means the police have ruled the law was broken – with more fines expected to follow as officers continue to sift through evidence.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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