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UK police conclude investigation into ‘partygate’ scandal, issue 126 fines

No further action will be taken against PM Johnson, who was fined for attending a birthday party during a COVID lockdown in 2020

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street for the House of Commons for the weekly Prime Minister's Questions In London, May 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street for the House of Commons for the weekly Prime Minister's Questions In London, May 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

LONDON — Britain’s Metropolitan Police said Thursday it has concluded its investigation into breaches of COVID-19 regulations at British government offices, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official residence, with a total of 126 fines issued over the offenses.

Police said they issued fixed-penalty notices to 53 men and 73 women for gatherings that took place on eight dates between May 2020, at the height of the first wave of the pandemic, and April 2021.

No further action will be taken against Johnson, police said.

Some involved people had received multiple fines. The case has been dubbed “partygate” by the media.

Johnson apologized last month after he revealed that he was among dozens of people who paid a police fine for attending lockdown-breaching parties and gatherings.

That made him the first British leader to be sanctioned for breaking the law while in office.

Revelations that Johnson and other senior officials gathered illegally in government buildings at a time when millions in the country stuck to government lockdown restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 have angered voters and triggered calls for Johnson to resign.

The conclusion of the police investigation means that results from a separate probe by a senior civil servant can now be published. Government officials say the report by Sue Gray will be published as soon as possible.

Police do not identify the people who received fines, but Treasury chief Rishi Sunak, as well as Johnson’s wife, Carrie, have said they were among those fined along with Johnson for attending a birthday party thrown for the prime minister.

Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said the Gray report should now be “published without delay.”

“The public made huge sacrifices while Boris Johnson partied, they deserve the full truth,” he tweeted.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report. 

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