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PM and Chancellor will be fined by Met Police over lockdown parties

Police are continuing to investigate events understood to have been held on the government estate during lockdown

PM and Chancellor will be fined by Met Police over lockdown parties

Confirmation of further fines as probe continues

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak broke lockdown rules over partygate, it has been confirmed.

Downing Street has confirmed both will receive fixed penalty notices for breaking the laws their government set during the pandemic.

Carrie Johnson, the Prime Minister's wife, has said she has also been notified that she will receive a fine.

Number 10 has confirmed that the notice issued to the Prime Minister is related to the birthday party Mrs Johnson threw for him in summer 2020.

The prime minister has not yet commented, but tweeted to say he had spoken to US President Joe Biden, adding that "our joint focus" remains supporting Ukraine and its president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

The news has led to fresh calls for the politicians to resign. Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: "Boris Johnson must resign. He broke the law and repeatedly lied to parliament about it. The basic values of integrity and decency - essential to the proper working of any parliamentary democracy - demand that he go. And he should take his out of touch chancellor with him."

The Metropolitan Police today announced it is to issue around 30 more fines to attendees at lockdown-breaking "partygate" events in government premises during Covid, it has been confirmed.

Around 20 fixed penalty notices were issued last month as part of Operation Hillman, when the Met indicated that these would not be the last.

The identities of those fined were not revealed, but Helen MacNamara, the former Whitehall ethics chief, has apologised for attending one such event. She said she was "sorry for the error of judgement" and confirmed she had paid the fixed penalty notice.

Now the London force has confirmed a new tranche of referrals. And again, it has said more may follow.

Both senior Conservatives previously denied involvement in rule-breaking lockdown parties.

This afternoon, Downing Street has said: "The PM and Chancellor have today received notification that the Metropolitan Police intend to issue them with fixed penalty notices."

A further clarification revealed that the Prime Minister's fine is related to the Cabinet Room party organised for him to mark his birthday on 19th June 2020. Mrs Johnson and Sunak are also understood to have been present.

In its morning statement, the Met said: "As of Tuesday, 12 April 2022 we have made over 50 referrals for fixed penalty notices (FPN) to the ACRO Criminal Records Office for breaches of Covid-19 regulations who following the referral issue the FPNs to the individual.

"We are making every effort to progress this investigation at speed, this includes continuing to assess significant amounts of investigative material from which further referrals may be made to ACRO."

The emergence of the partygate scandal saw Boris Johnson face calls to resign, with letters of no confidence submitted by Tory MPs including Douglas Ross, who has said he now stands by the PM, given the war in Ukraine.

The government has said it will publish the internal Sue Gray report into the matter following the conclusion of the Met's investigations.

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