Scotland Times

Saturday, Feb 04, 2023

Partygate: 12 events that were under police investigation

Partygate: 12 events that were under police investigation

Fines have been issued in relation to at least eight of the 12 events for breaches of Covid restrictions

Fines have been issued in relation to at least eight of the 12 events across Whitehall that have been under police investigation. Scotland Yard has identified a range of events breaching restrictions under 2020 pandemic legislation, and in some cases confirmed that fixed-penalty notices had been issued.

20 May 2020: ‘bring your own booze’ party

A leaked email from the prime minister’s principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, showed No 10 staff were invited to “bring your own booze” to an event in the Downing Street garden. Boris Johnson admitted he was there for 25 minutes and said he thought it was a “work event” to thank staff for their efforts during the pandemic.

18 June 2020: Cabinet Office leaving do

A gathering took place in the 70 Whitehall building to mark the departure of a private secretary, Hannah Young. The government’s former ethics chief Helen MacNamara, who now works for the Premier League, has apologised for her “error of judgment” after she was fined.

19 June 2020: Boris Johnson’s 56th birthday

Downing Street has said staff “gathered briefly” in the Cabinet Room in what was reportedly a surprise get-together for the prime minister organised by his then fiancee, Carrie, now his wife. No 10 denied a report that later the same evening family and friends were hosted upstairs to celebrate the occasion.

Johnson, his wife and the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, all received fines, it has been confirmed. Johnson became the UK’s first serving prime minister to be sanctioned for breaking the law.

13 November 2020: Downing Street flat do

Carrie Johnson reportedly hosted parties in the official flat over No 11 where she and the prime minister, including one event on 13 November, the night of Dominic Cummings’s acrimonious departure.

13 November 2020: leaving party for senior aide

Johnson was reported to have given a leaving speech for Lee Cain, his departing director of communications and a close ally of Cummings. The Met has confirmed penalties were issued in connection with this date but has not clarified whether they were over the flat gathering or the leaving do.

17 December 2020: Cabinet Office ‘Christmas party’

The cabinet secretary, Simon Case, removed himself from the inquiry into parties – to be replaced by Sue Gray – after reports emerged of a gathering in the Cabinet Office.

It has been reported that the do was organised by a private secretary in Case’s team. The Cabinet Office said Case played no part in the event, “but walked through the team’s office on the way to his own office”.

17 December 2020: leaving drinks for former Covid taskforce head

Leaving drinks were held in the Cabinet Office for the former director general of the government’s Covid taskforce Kate Josephs, who went on to become chief executive of Sheffield city council.

17 December 2020: No 10 leaving do

A leaving do for a departing Downing Street official took place at No 10. The Met has not clarified which event resulted in fines but Josephs has said she was “truly sorry” over the leaving drinks held in the Cabinet Office.

18 December 2020: Downing Street Christmas party

Officials and advisers reportedly made speeches, enjoyed a cheese board, drank together and exchanged Secret Santa gifts, although the prime minister is not thought to have attended. Johnson’s spokesperson, Allegra Stratton, resigned after a video emerged of her joking about a “fictional party” at a mock press conference.

14 January 2021: more Downing Street leaving drinks

A gathering in No 10 on the departure of two private secretaries. The police investigation related to a suspected breach of restrictions on participating in an indoor gathering of two or more people in a tier 4 area.

16 April 2021: leaving drinks for the outgoing communications director James Slack

One of two leaving dos held on the night before the Queen sat alone at Prince Philip’s funeral. Slack, who left Downing Street to become deputy editor of the Sun, has apologised for the “anger and hurt” caused.

16 April 2021: leaving do for another departing Downing Street official

This is another event, separate to Slack’s leaving do, that took place at a Whitehall location. Johnson is not reported to have been present. This was a suspected breach of a restriction on participating in an outdoor gathering consisting of more than six people.


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