The Tory Party chairman said the suggestion the Prime Minister would receive additional fines as part of the police investigation into the claims of the 10th-year parties was “a fair amount of speculation”.

Downing Street is said to be bracing for Boris Johnson to receive a second fixed penalty notice (FPN) after police began issuing fines on Friday related to “bring your own bottle” drinks in the area. garden number 10 on May 20, 2020.

Oliver Dowden seems to argue that it is unlikely that the Conservative leader will be fined £50 a second time for breaking his own coronavirus laws.

I think it’s a pretty big guess that more fines will be introduced

The Cabinet Secretary, asked on the BBC’s Sunday Morning program about the prospect of additional fines against Mr Johnson, said: “I think in regards to these fines, we just need to let the police investigate. .

“I think that assuming more fines will be introduced is a pretty obvious guess.”

On Friday, No 10 said the Prime Minister had not been fined in connection with the BYOB gathering, but he had previously admitted to attending the gathering, held during Britain’s first lockdown, for about 25 minutes. .

Mr Johnson has stressed to MPs he believes this is a work event to thank staff for their efforts during the pandemic.

The Metropolitan Police fined Mr Johnson, along with his wife Carrie and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, for participating in the Prime Minister’s birthday celebration held in June 2020 when Covid regulations banned indoor gatherings.

About 30 guests are said to have sung Happy Birthday to him in the Cabinet room.

Conservative Party Chairman Oliver Dowden (Stefan Rousseau/PA) / PA wire

Offering a staunch defense of Mr Johnson’s handling of the so-called party affair, Conservative Chairman Mr Dowden said he did not think a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister had gone unnoticed. inevitable as some members of his party have argued.

He also said he believes the Prime Minister will lead the Tories to the next general election, currently scheduled for no later than January 2025.

The former culture minister argued that changing the country’s leader amid the current cost-of-living crisis and the war raging in Ukraine would create “destabilization and uncertainty”.

However, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer told the BBC that the Prime Minister’s power had been “destroyed” by the allegations surrounding him and his administration.

Sir Keir called Downing Street “probably the most penalized workplace in the whole of the UK” and added: “And we’re not finished with these fines yet.”

In a separate interview with the Sunday Mirror, the opposition leader was criticized at the Met for not revealing how many party fines would be issued before next month’s local elections.

The force has said it will not give an update on the FPN before the May 5 poll, although Number 10 has vowed to announce whether the Prime Minister or Cabinet Secretary will receive a fine in time. prepare to vote or not.

Labor Leader Sir Keir Starmer says Chancellor’s power has been ‘shot through’ (Stefan Rousseau/PA) / PA wire

Sir Keir, a former director of public prosecutors, said the police “should continue to implement their decisions and make them public as before”.

“The Met Police shouldn’t have changed their operations,” he told the paper.

“Criminal charges are brought all the time, electoral or non-voting. It is in the public interest to know who has received the fine, especially those in high government positions.”

MPs agreed last week that Mr Johnson should face a parliamentary inquiry into whether he misled the House of Commons when he previously denied allegations of rule-breaking in Downing Street.

The Privy Commission probe will begin after the Scotland Yard investigation is over.

Mr Dowden said he did not believe the Prime Minister had misled Parliament.

Highlighted on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge program Sunday on whether Mr Johnson would have to resign if MPs on the committee see otherwise, he replied: “I think there is a very strong case. for the Prime Minister still in office.

“But, as you alluded to, you would expect me to say that’s a hypothetical scenario, so I won’t go into commenting on that.”


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