No 10 lockdown breaches: Met police expected to issue first fines | Conservatives

The first fines for breaches of lockdown rules in Downing Street are expected to be issued imminently, government insiders have told the Guardian.

Multiple sources said the Metropolitan police had made referrals for the first tranche of fixed penalty notices (FPNs) connected with parties and gatherings being investigated by police in No 10 and the Cabinet Office.

It comes two months after police began examining material from the Whitehall inquiry carried out by the senior civil servant Sue Gray into multiple alleged breaches of Covid rules.

The Met has sent questionnaires to more than 100 members of staff and aides, including Boris Johnson and his wife, Carrie; the head of the civil service, Simon Case; and the prime minister’s former principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds.

Last week, the force said it intended to start questioning witnesses, with no FPNs issued so far. The announcement suggested officers had not yet found breaches that meet the evidentiary threshold for fines to be issued without further interviews.

In total, police are investigating 12 separate events in 2020 and 2021, six of which Johnson is said to have attended. Scotland Yard said it had obtained more than 300 photographs and 500 pages of documents showing what Gray’s inquiry believes to be potential rule-breaking.

Images include photos taken at parties and those taken from security-system cameras showing when people entered and exited buildings.

The investigation is being carried out by detectives from the force’s special enquiries team, which focuses on sensitive cases. It has been led by Jane Connors, the force’s deputy assistant commissioner and lead for Covid enforcement. Paperwork from the Met is sent to Acro, the criminal records office, for the issuing of fines.

More to follow …

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