Metropolitan Police confirms it will investigate Downing Street parties 3 months ago

Metropolitan Police confirms it will investigate Downing Street parties

Met Police chief confirms an investigation into Downing Street parties.

The Metropolitan Police has launched an investigation into parties held at Downing Street during Covid lockdowns.

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Commissioner Cressida Dick made the announcement on Tuesday, saying: "We police without fear or favour. I absolutely understand there is deep public concern.

"I can confirm Met is investigating a number of events that took place at Downing Street".

Speaking at the London Assembly, the police chief said Scotland Yard is looking into "a number of events" in Downing Street and Whitehall after new evidence was brought forward by the Cabinet Office inquiry team.

Dick's announcement marks a stunning U-turn, with the Met having previously said its policy was not to undertake retrospective investigations of lockdown breaches.

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Dick said the investigation was launched after the inquiry passed a "threshold".

She said there there was evidence those involved knew what they were doing was an offence, not investigating would undermine the legitimacy of the law and there seemed to be "little ambiguity" around the absence of any reasonable defence.

Dick was unable to confirm "at this stage" which parties are being investigated, and on what timescale the public could expected a publication. 

It's unclear whether the police investigation will delay publication of the long-awaited report by civil servant Sue Gray.

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Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey said the investigation was "the first step towards justice".

In a statement he said: "Boris Johnson is not above the law, he must be treated like anyone else.

"I now expect the Met to question Boris Johnson under caution at his local police station.

"If found guilty, he and any others in Downing Street who have broken Covid rules should be fined in the same way as ordinary members of the public".

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