Police to probe alleged lockdown party in Downing Street
London: The Metropolitan Police Service on Tuesday began investigations into the alleged events at Downing Street and Whitehall where participants may have breached Health Protection Regulations on a number of dates that were followed amid COVID-19 spike.
Speaking at the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee this morning (25 January), Commissioner Cressida Dick was quoted as saying by the website: “As a result firstly of 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."
“My officers have assessed several other events that appear to have taken place at Downing Street and Whitehall. On the available information, these other events are assessed as not reaching the threshold for criminal investigation," Dick said.
“Throughout the pandemic the Met has sought, as I have said, to take a proportionate approach. I should stress the fact that the Met is investigating does not mean that fixed penalty notices will necessarily be issued in every instance and to every person involved," she said.
“We will not be giving a running commentary on our current investigations, but I can assure you that we will give updates at significant points as we would normally do," Dick said.
The MPS has had ongoing contact with the Cabinet Office in relation to its inquiry into allegations of gatherings.
Throughout this process specialist MPS detectives, supported by senior officers, have continually considered whether criminal investigation into any of these events was proportionate based on the available information.
In recent days the Cabinet Office has provided outline findings from its inquiry to the MPS.
Following detailed assessments of these outline findings the MPS has decided to open investigations into potential breaches of HPA regulations during events at Downing Street and Whitehall on a number of dates.
Where multiple events occurred on a particular date at a location, all the events on that date will initially fall within the remit of the investigation so that the full circumstances can be established.
This does not mean that everyone who attended an event will be investigated.
The MPS has written to the Cabinet Office this morning with a formal request for it to refer all relevant information gathered from its inquiry in relation to events on the dates in question to support the police investigations.