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Police to start issuing fines over lockdown parties at Downing Street

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On Tuesday, British police announced that 20 fines would be imposed for gatherings in Boris Johnson’s offices and residence that violated coronavirus lockdown rules, prompting new opposition calls for the prime minister to resign. “Boris Johnson’s Downing Street has been found guilty of breaking the law,” Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said. “The culture is set from the very top. The buck stops with the prime minister, who spent months lying to the British public, which is why he has got to go.” Fixed penalty notices are issued to people who are found to have violated COVID-19 rules, as well as certain motoring offences and antisocial behaviour. Participating in a gathering of more than 15 people carries a fine of £800 ($1,050). Police are looking into 12 gatherings at Downing Street and the Cabinet Office in 2020 and 2021 after an internal investigation revealed that the booze filled parties were enjoyed by Mr. Johnson’s staff. The prime minister had apparently visited these gatherings as well. The police action confirmed for the first time that unprecedented regulations designed to protect the country from COVID-19 were violated by officials at the heart of the government that designed them.
The issue threatened Mr. Johnson’s position earlier this year, when members of his own party called for his resignation and public trust in his leadership plummeted. This, however, has taken a back seat in the wake of the situation in Ukraine. The gatherings were first revealed in late 2021, when people were unable to attend funerals or say goodbye to loved ones dying in hospitals due to lockdown rules. At the time, Mr. Johnson claimed that all the rules had been followed, though he later apologized to parliament for attending one event that he claimed was work-related, and then to Queen Elizabeth for another in which staff partied on the eve of her husband’s funeral. The recipients of the fines will not be named, but Downing Street has previously stated that if the prime minister receives one, he will be informed. Mr. Johnson’s office stated that he had not yet been notified that he was one of the 20 people who would face fines.
Additional fines, according to the police, were still possible.

Written by: Relaks Radio

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