London police investigating Downing Street lockdown parties

AP , Tuesday 25 Jan 2022

London police said Tuesday they were investigating Downing Street parties during lockdown, putting further pressure on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government.

A police officer walks past 10 Downing Street in London. AP

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick revealed that an investigation was underway in a statement before the London Assembly. Dick said that Scotland Yard is now investigating ``a number of events'' at Downing Street.

Johnson's government has been under fire for allegedly holding events during months in which the nation was under lockdown because of COVID-19.

``The fact that we are now investigating does not, of course, mean that fixed penalty notices will necessarily be issued in every instance and to every person involved,'' Dick said. ``We will not be giving a running commentary on our current investigations.''

In the latest claim, ITV News reported that Johnson attended a birthday party in his Downing Street office and later hosted friends in his apartment upstairs in June 2020. His office denied it, saying that ``in line with the rules at the time, the prime minister hosted a small number of family members outside that evening.''

The ``partygate'' allegations have infuriated many in Britain, who were barred from meeting with friends and family for months in 2020 and 2021 to curb the spread of COVID-19. They are being investigated by a senior civil servant, Sue Gray, whose report, expected this week, will be a pivotal moment for the prime minister.

It wasn't clear which events the police were investigating.

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