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Scotland Yard has launched an investigation into potential breaches of coronavirus laws at a “number of events” in Downing Street and Whitehall.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said on Tuesday that officers were now investigating after being passed information from the Sue Gray inquiry.
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Politics RECAP: Scotland Yard launches investigation Boris Johnson and ‘parties’ in Downing Street
Last updated: Tuesday, 25 January, 2022, 14:23
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said on Tuesday officers were now investigating potential offences over two years after being passed information from the Sue Gray inquiry.
The move plunges Boris Johnson into deeper jeopardy ahead of the publication of the investigation by Ms Gray, a senior civil servant in the Cabinet Office.
The department did not immediately confirm reports suggesting the report will be further delayed pending the police investigation.
Dame Cressida told the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee: “What I can tell you this morning is that as a result of the information provided by the Cabinet Office inquiry team and, secondly, my officers’ own assessment, I can confirm that the Met is now investigating a number of events that took place at Downing Street and Whitehall in the last two years in relation to potential breaches of Covid-19 regulations.”
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner questioned how Mr Johnson can remain Prime Minister with Downing Street under police investigation.
“Boris Johnson is a national distraction. Conservative MPs should stop propping him up and he should finally do the decent thing and resign,” she added.
Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg sought to defend the Prime Minister’s record after the police investigation was launched, saying he was “honoured to be under his leadership”.
Speaking on the news of further parties at Downing Street, Ian Blackford told Good Morning Scotland “The public reaction to all of this has been quite staggering.
“It’s brought back memories for people when they couldn’t be with their loved ones.
“This is a massive failure of leadership and somewhere along the line the Prime Minister has got to accept responsibility.”
Scotland Yard chief Dame Cressida Dick defended her force’s handling of Downing Street party claims as she confirmed an investigation has now been launched.
The Met has come under intense political and public pressure to explain how the gatherings were able to take place at a site with a heavy police presence.
So what is the latest party allegation? Here’s what you need to know.
The party took place on June 19 for Boris Johnson’s birthday.
A Downing Street spokesperson admitted staff “gathered briefly” in the Cabinet Room after a meeting, following a report from ITV News which suggested up to 30 people attended.
The broadcaster suggested the Prime Minister’s wife, Carrie Johnson, had organised the surprise get-together.
The PA news agency was told Lulu Lytle, the interior designer behind lavish renovations of Mr and Mrs Johnson’s No 10 flat, briefly attended while undertaking work in Downing Street.
ITV News also reported that later the same evening, family and friends were hosted upstairs to further celebrate the Prime Minister’s 56th birthday in his official residence.
No 10 said: “This is totally untrue. In line with the rules at the time the Prime Minister hosted a small number of family members outside that evening.”
Our Westminster correspondent reports Boris Johnson knew the police investigation announcement was coming today but did not tell the cabinet about it.