Downing Street has reiterated Boris Johnson’s belief he did not misled MPs over Partygate, despite the Metropolitan Police confirming laws were broken by government officials.
During this morning’s Downing Street lobby briefing, the prime minister’s spokesperson repeatedly refused to acknowledge whether the PM accepts laws were broken.
Number 10 said: “It’s for the Met to make that judgement, rather than the prime minister.”
Earlier today, the Met announced a first wave of fines – 20 fixed penalty notices (FPN) – with further penalties to be announced in the coming weeks. The announcement is the first confirmation laws were broken since the Partygate saga broke in December last year.
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Asked whether Johnson should apologise following the news, Number 10 said the PM “has apologised to the House already.”
Downing Street refused to confirm whether the prime minister would resign if he received a FPN, stating “there are specific HR processes in place for individuals”. In June 2021, Johnson accepted the resignation of Matt Hancock as then health secretary after he was revealed to have broken Covid rules.
Number 10 said the prime minister is not expected to comment until the Met’s concludes its investigation, also known as Operation Hillman.
Downing Street also confirmed that staff will not be asked to disclose any fines they receive, leaving the door open to civil servants keeping their jobs despite breaking the law. According to the civil service code, officials must “comply with the law & uphold the administration of justice”.