Politics

No10 staff 'furious' after Boris Johnson only gets two Partygate questionnaires


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An insider who received a fine said junior staff are ‘livid’ because they received multiple fixed penalty notices – while Boris Johnson only received two Partygate questionnaires

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson was only questioned about two get-togethers and fined for being at one

Downing Street staff fined for lockdown parties claim Boris Johnson “got away with it” after police failed to quiz him on four of the six shindigs he attended.

Met Police failed to send the PM questionnaires about four gatherings at which other staff were ordered to attend – and then fined.

Mr Johnson was only questioned about two get-togethers and fined for being at one.

Tonight junior staff were furious that some of them had received multiple fines for being at the same gatherings.

The Mirror told on Thursday how the PM was sent only two Covid questionnaires by police. One insider said yesterday: “I have no complaint about my fine. But junior staff, many women in their early 20s, are livid.

“They had no choice but to be there. And they had reasonable grounds to believe the events had been cleared by the Covid task force. Yet the PM was drinking and enjoying himself along with everyone else and pretty much gets away with it.”







Boris Johnson holding a birthday cake presented to him by the staff during a socially distanced visit to Bovingdon Primary School
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10 Downing Street/AFP via Getty)







The PM’s former top aide Dominic Cummings
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PA)

Young women in No10 claim they were unfairly treated as 48 were fined compared to 35 men. Police issued 126 fines after probing 10 parties, but Mr Johnson got only two questionnaires of 204 issued. They were for his 56th birthday party on June 19, 2020, in which he, wife Carrie and Chancellor Rishi Sunak each received fixed penalties.

But he escaped a ticket for the Downing Street flat celebration on November 13, 2020, when his aide Dominic Cummings was ousted. It was the night ABBA hit The Winner Takes It All was blasted out.

Staffers are also puzzled that there was no questionnaire for the PM for the “Bring Your Own Booze” party on May 20, 2020, when 100 staff were invited to the No10 rose garden. The PM admitted to being there but claims he “thought it was a work event”.

Yet staffers who could reasonably have used the same excuse received fines.







Rishi Sunak also received a fine
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REUTERS)

The insider said: “There are plenty of pictures of the PM at the events. Yet when it comes to him the police only looked at the ones where there was overwhelming evidence rules were broken.

“And they came up with a fine for the birthday party. Even the police did not feel they could ignore that one.”

Lib Dem deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: “Serious questions remain about why Boris Johnson only received questionnaires for two of the numerous illegal parties in No10. This smacks of a cover-up, with junior staff being thrown to the wolves in order to save the PM.” Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner added: “This is a Prime Minister incapable of taking responsibility for the rotten culture he has created or of doing the decent thing.”







Angela Rayner said the PM doesn’t want to take responsibility for the rule-breaking in Downing Street
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ITV)

And the PCS civil service union said: “It’s one rule for the PM, Cabinet ministers and senior civil servants who organised the parties and another for junior staffers.”

A report by Cabinet Office enforcer Sue Gray – into 16 events in Downing Street and Whitehall – is due by Wednesday.

The Met ended its four-month, £460,000 investigation on Thursday after slapping 83 people with fixed penalties.






Keir Starmer is awaiting the result of his own beergate probe by Durham police and says he will quit if fined

Of those, 55 got one fine each, while 71 fines were shared between 28 people.

Acting Met Commissioner Sir Stephen House appears before the London Assembly this week and is expected to be asked how officers decided who to fine.

A source said: “Many of us are scratching our heads about how junior civil servants were fined for attending the same gatherings as the PM and their bosses when they escaped.”

No10 referred us to the Met Police, which made no comment.

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