By Charlie Kimber
Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2806

After cops’ partygate whitewash, don’t let Boris Johnson off the hook

The police won’t issue any further fines to the prime minister over his partygate crimes
Issue 2806
A picture of Boris Johnson in the driver's seat of a train on the Elizabeth line

There could be a light at the end of the tunnel for Boris Johnson thanks to the police (Picture: Number 10 on Flickr)

Pass the bucket of whitewash. The cops have loyally informed Boris Johnson that he will not receive any more fines over parties that broke lockdown regulations.

The statement on Thursday added that the police had issued 126 fines. Some people received two to five fines, but they were not cumulative. So if they paid on time, each fine was £50 maximum. The police handed huge cumulative fines of thousands of pounds to ordinary people who they deemed serial offenders.

There were five parties where Johnson was present and where other people have been fined over their involvement, but the prime minister has escaped without penalty.

They are the 20 May 2020 party famous for the invitation telling people to “Bring your own Bottle”and Johnson’s birthday party on 19 June 2020. There’s Lee Cain’s leaving do on 13 November 2020 and the Number 10 flat party celebrating the end of Dominic Cummings the same day. And then the 17 December 2020 leaving do for Captain Steve Higham and the 14 January 2021 leaving event for private secretaries.

He was at six illegal gatherings but attended five of them legally. His juniors were fined, but not him. This is how the establishment works, excusing and helping out each other in the class interest and blaming the little people for their own crimes.

The Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK group said, “Eight events investigated by the police have resulted in a fine. Eight occasions in less than a year where those at the very heart of government broke the laws in place to protect us all.

“Conservative MPs promised they would make their mind up about the prime minister when the Sue Gray report is released. 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 to remain in the highest office in the land.”

Carrie Johnson, the prime minister’s wife, has also been told that she is not going to receive any further fines over partygate. She was investigated over allegations that she held a party in the Downing Street flat on the night Cummings’ resigned. If the Met Police has decided not to fine her, it suggests it’s accepted the argument that government advisers who attended were there for a work meeting. The advisors were reportedly her friends. 

If the cops could swallow that, it’s not surprising they accepted the rest of the excuses.Johnson, Carrie Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak were each fined last month for attending a surprise birthday party for the prime minister in June 2020. That’s it.

The full Sue Gray report into the parties is set to be published “as soon as possible”. But Gray still has to finalise the report so that might mean next week. And it’s hard to see that it could sink Johnson after the police covered-up his crimes.

Twelve “detectives” worked on the investigation. They looked at 345 documents, including emails, door logs, diary entries and witness statements, 510 photographs and CCTV images and 204 questionnaires. It cost nearly £500,000 to discover that, when Johnson was handing round the drinks and enjoying himself, he was actually at work meetings.

Partygate won’t bring down Johnson—although it should have done. It was a symbol of his arrogance and contempt for everyone except his charmed circle. It was a sign of the fatal recklessness of the Covid policies. Johnson must not now be allowed to escape the fury over the lack of action over the cost of living crisis. 

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