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UK police finish probe into Johnson's partygate scandal with 126 fines

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks outside No. 10 Downing Street in London, UK. (Photo by Reuters)

British police have finished their investigation into COVID-19 lockdown parties held at Downing Street office, issuing a total of 126 fines, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson receiving no further fines.

“Our investigation was thorough and impartial and was completed as quickly as we could, given the amount of information that needed to be reviewed and the importance of ensuring that we had strong evidence for each FPN (fixed penalty notice) referral,” London Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Helen Ball said on Thursday.

“In total, detectives have made 126 referrals for fixed penalty notices (FPNs) to the ACRO Criminal Records Office for breaches of COVID-19 regulations,” the Metropolitan Police force said in a statement.

The fines relate to eight dates when events were held at No. 10 Downing Street office between May 2020 and April 2021 when the country was at strictest lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

The police explained that those who received the fines included 53 men and 73 women, some of whom were fined more than once.

“The Met has confirmed that they’re taking no further action with regards to the prime minister,” said Prime Minister’s Official spokesperson Max Blain, confirming that Johnson has lived through the probe.

Johnson and Finance Minister Rishi Sunak had received fines last month over the so-called partygate scandal, which led to widespread calls from opposition politicians and some in his own party for him to resign. However, the PM was expected to receive a big punishment at the end of the investigation by the Metropolitan Police.

Campaigners who lost loved ones during the pandemic have depicted Thursday’s decision a “terrible insult” and called for the immediate release of the report by senior civil servant Sue Gray, which is expected to be targeted at PM Johnson.

A twitter account from campaigners under the name of ‘COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK’ tweeted on Thursday that “there is no reason for that report to be delayed any longer".

"Every day they do not act they allow a man who gaslit us and lied to the faces of the bereaved when he claimed he did 'everything possible' to save our loved ones remain the highest office in the land.”

The partygate scandal has turned to a major embarrassment for the Conservative party as polls revealed that the public wanted the PM to step down.

Seats loss by conservatives in the parliament in the recent elections is another sign that shows the public inconvenience with the party.


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