The first “Partygate” sanctions fall. London police announced 20 fines on Tuesday for breaking anti-Covid rules at parties in British power circles. Parties whose revelation had caused a scandal and weakened Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Fines issued by Scotland Yard
“We will start sending 20 fines notices for Covid-19 regulatory breaches today,” Scotland Yard said in a statement without specifying who the fines were.
A Downing Street spokesman later clarified that Boris Johnson had not received any fines as it stood and that the media would be informed “should this happen”. This scandal had plunged into an unprecedented crisis Boris Johnson, who had come to power triumphantly in July 2019 and had a long-lasting popularity.
Gatherings between 2020 and 2021
A time considered to be on an ejection seat in January in the face of defections in his majority, the conservative leader seems to have overcome the crisis, in particular by touting his leading role in the sanctions imposed on Russia after the invasion of Ukraine.
But the conclusions of the police, who therefore consider that offenses have indeed taken place, could relaunch the case. Scotland Yard investigated a dozen gatherings in 2020 and 2021. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is believed to have attended some of them.
Parties in full confinement
The revelations of these sometimes festive events in places of power during the pandemic, when the British were asked to drastically reduce their social interactions to fight against the spread of Covid-19 have shaken its credibility.
Boris Johnson, whose popularity fell sharply after this scandal, had made his mea culpa before the deputies but ruled out any resignation, relying on the conclusions of the police investigation. The latter has not yet been completed but the police have promised to do “everything” to move it forward “quickly” and warned that other fines could follow if there is sufficient evidence of violations.