This is the first time a government has been the subject of a police investigation since the cash for honours scandal in 2006.
Keir Starmer has branded Boris Johnson “unfit for office” as a result of the alleged parties that happened at Downing Street throughout the pandemic.
In regards to these parties, Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has confirmed a “number of events” held on Downing Street during the pandemic were being investigated.
After being threatened with legal action over its decision not to investigate the list of alleged rule-breaking parties, the Good Law Project has condemned the hesitancy of the Met police, and suggested it would be “unlawful” not to look into the accusations. The Met police awaited the findings of the Sue Gray report to identify evidence of potentially criminal behaviour.
The long-awaited Sue Gray report has now revealed 12 out of a potential 16 gatherings for the Met to investigate.
Ms Gray has also revealed there were investigations into a gathering in the Prime Minister’s flat which may have happened on the night Dominic Cummings resigned after admitting to breaking Covid-19 rules.
A further investigation is happening in relation to a “bring your own booze” garden party, and two No.10 parties on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral, the morning after which the Queen was made to sit alone at her husband’s funeral in accordance with Covid-19 regulations.
Ms Gray has condemned the “excessive consumption of alcohol” connected with these events, in particular, following reports suggesting No.10 staff wheeled in a suitcase full of wine bottles.
Sue Gray has accused Downing street staff of not following the rules they were inflicting on the nation. She said: “some of the gatherings in question represent a serious failure to observe not just the high standards expected of those working at the heart of Government but also of the standards expected of the entire British population at the time.”
This has demanded a look into how breaches of Covid-19 rules were dealt with, having normally resulted in a fine. For example, there was a £30,000 fine issued to three UEA students in late 2020 due to a party held against government advice.
Since the rules were first introduced in March 2020, they have changed more than 70 times. As a result, the Met Police are now tasked with investigating which laws were actually in place at the time and will be seeking evidence from Ms Gray to support their investigation.