Partygate: Johnson faces no further action as police investigation concludes
Downing Street employees who were fined for attending the same lockdown parties as Boris Johnson have reacted furiously after the prime minister escaped further sanctions.
“It’s a joke,” a No 10 source told the independentand said the prime minister had “told people to ‘let down their hair’ and enjoy their drinks earned by ‘reducing the virus'”, adding: “He is a man of little or no integrity.”
Announcing the conclusion of their Operation Hillman investigation on Thursday, the Metropolitan Police said a total of 126 fines had been handed out to 83 people, for events spanning eight dates between May 2020 and April 2021.
A leading expert on Covid laws, attorney Adam Wagner, also questioned the “inconsistency” of the fines after it was found that some junior employees have received as many as five fines, while the prime minister and other senior figures avoided new measures. .
Now Sue Gray, the senior official who is conducting a broader report on the scandal, is expected to publish her findings next week.
Former Downing Street official ‘gasp’ over No 10 Partygate denials
A former No. 10 official who worked there during the pandemic has said: the independent that at the time an official rule was issued denying parties, “I gasped at the brutality of the lie”.
You can read more about the anger among number 10 staff after Boris Johnson escaped further Partygate fines in our front page story today, by Anna Isaac† Adam Forrest and Lizzie Dearden†
Andy GregoryMay 20, 2022 08:12
Boris Johnson ‘acted on’ Sue Gray’s report, Raab says
Dominic Raab has said he welcomed the conclusion of the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into the Partygate scandal, insisting that Boris Johnson “acted on” Sue Gray’s interim report.
“We welcome the conclusion of the police investigation, or at least the Metropolitan Police investigation. I think it’s important to have the transparency and accountability that comes with that,” the justice minister told Times Radio.
“I cannot comment on the relationship between the Met and Sue Gray. That would be the wrong thing for me to do, especially as Attorney General. All I can say is that we are waiting for a final report. Obviously we’ve already had the interim report, and the Prime Minister acted on it – the revision at number 10.
“We will publish it as soon as possible as soon as we receive the final report. And the Prime Minister said he will come to the House of Commons and answer questions so that we get that extra level of transparency and accountability.”
Andy GregoryMay 20, 2022 07:57
Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murty appear for the first time in Sunday Times Rich List
The chancellor and his wife have made the Sunday Times Rich List for the first time with their combined forecast of £730 million, as Russian billionaires plummeted this year.
On Friday morning, they came in at 222 in the list, largely as a result of Ms Murty’s £690 million stake in Infosys.
It comes after the Chancellor’s and his wife’s finances have come under intense scrutiny in recent months, after the independent revealed Mrs. Murty’s non-dominant tax status, which may have saved her millions in taxes.
She later agreed to pay foreign taxes on her UK income and Mr Sunak was cleared of breaching the ministerial code by Boris Johnson’s standards advisor after considering the tax matters.
Andy GregoryMay 20, 2022 07:27
Iceland introduces 10 percent discount for senior Britons
Iceland plans to introduce 10 percent for seniors as Britons struggle with the rising cost of living, making it the first UK supermarket to introduce such a discount.
The company announced it will be offering discounted rates to customers over the age of 60 beginning May 24, with the discount applying every Tuesday with no minimum spend.
Customers must be able to show proof of age to redeem the discount, which would be available in-store at Iceland and The Food Warehouse locations.
The company is also exploring a nationwide rollout of £30 vouchers to people receiving state pensions, following a regional trial over Christmas.
Richard Walker, Director of Iceland, said: “We have a long history of supporting our customers over 60, such as when we launched ‘Elderly Hour’ at the height of the pandemic.
Namita Singh |May 20, 2022 07:03
MPs concerned about ‘backlog’ of complaints about NHS and government services
MPs are concerned about a “significant backlog” with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), an independent body that acts as a “last resort” for complaints from individuals about NHS and government services, a new report warns.
The Commission on Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs (PACAC) attributed the disruption to the Covid pandemic as it assessed PHSO’s performance from 2020-2021.
As of March 2021, the body faces an unallocated backlog of more than 3,000 cases, the commission found, as it added that the impact of the pandemic on the NHS and its own staff “resulted in a row of cases waiting to be resolved.” to be dealt with at the end of the year”.
While the PHSO has requested additional funds to increase the number of case workers, MPs in the committee said they remain “concerned” about the impact of delays on those using the ombudsman’s services.
Namita Singh |May 20, 2022 06:44
Irish PM talks to Stormont leaders
His visit follows the controversial move by the British government to act unilaterally to remove parts of the protocol.
While the DUP on Tuesday welcomed Foreign Secretary Liz Truss’ announcement to enact legislation to nullify parts of the Brexit withdrawal treaty it signed with the EU, the DUP has said it is boycotting its powers. will not cancel immediately.
Namita Singh |May 20, 2022 06:21
Johnson overhauls No 10 while waiting for Sue Gray report
The Prime Minister has reviewed his activities in Downing Street following the conclusion of the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into parties breaking the lockdown.
Boris Johnson’s bid to restore order to No. 10 saw the government announce changes that will “increase support for the Prime Minister and cabinet”.
The shake-up involves creating a streamlined team of officials who work for the prime minister under the direction of his permanent secretary.
A UK government spokesperson said: “As we set out earlier in the year, steps are being taken to further strengthen the functioning of both No 10 and the Cabinet Office so that they are best placed to support the needs of the future now and in the future. to perform for the public.
“The work to realize these plans is ongoing.”
It comes ahead of the publication of Sue Gray’s separate report on Covid lockdown gatherings, expected next week.
Namita Singh |May 20, 2022 06:10
US will not agree to UK trade deal if Johnson rejects protocol
The leader of the US House of Representatives said it was “deeply disturbing” that the British government planned to unilaterally end protocol controls previously agreed with the EU.
Ms Pelosi said she had previously told Johnson and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss that if they choose to “undermine” the Good Friday Agreement, Congress “cannot and will not support a bilateral free trade agreement with the UK”.
You can find the details in this report by: Adam Forrest:
Namita Singh |May 20, 2022 05:55
Legal expert proposes ‘strange’ fines for junior No. 10
A leading expert on Covid laws has questioned the “inconsistency” of the Metropolitan Police fines handed out to Downing Street staff as Boris Johnson escaped further punishment.
Attorney Adam Wagner described the outcome of the Partygate investigation as a “bit odd” and said it appeared Mr Johnson had avoided fines despite attending illegal drinking events.
“I would be quite annoyed if I were a government official who got an FPN for participating in what the Met clearly considered an illegal meeting… but others who participated didn’t,” the expert tweeted.
My colleague Adam Forrest has the details†
Namita Singh |May 20, 2022 05:40
Downing Street staff furious as Johnson escapes Partygate fines
Downing Street workers who were fined for attending the same lockdown parties as Boris Johnson have reacted with anger after the prime minister escaped further sanctions on Thursday.
“It’s a joke,” a No 10 source told the independent† “He told people to ‘let their hair down’ and enjoy their drinks that they had earned by ‘bending the virus’.”
They said the prime minister had participated in dealings with officials and advisers in a way that was seen as an endorsement of after-work parties.
“He is a man of little or no integrity,” they added, referring to his handling of the Partygate affair.
Read the details in this joint report from Anna Isaac† Adam Forrest and Lizzie Dearden:
Namita Singh |May 20, 2022 05:27