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British police end 'partygate' investigation with no new fines for Boris Johnson

British police end 'partygate' investigation with no new fines for Boris Johnson
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife, Carrie, after he delivered his keynote speech at the 2021 Conservative party Conference in Manchester on October 6, 2021. Met Police said Thursday the couple will not face additional fines for COVID-19 violations. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

May 19 (UPI) -- London's Metropolitan Police announced Thursday the conclusion of the "partygate" investigation of COVID-19 lockdown violations by government officials and said no additional fines will be issued to Prime Minister Boris Johnson or his wife.

Authorities recommended 126 fines for 83 people for parties at No. 10 Downing Street and Whitehall that violated the country's COVID-19 lockdown rules in 2020. Johnson, his wife Carrie Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak had already been fined for the prime minister's birthday party.

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Johnson has resisted calls for him to resign as prime minister after authorities revealed last month he would be fined for violating his government's COVID-19 rules. Police investigated eight other dates, but none led to additional penalties for him.

"There is no doubt that the pandemic impacted all of us in so many ways and strong feelings and opinions have been expressed on this particular issue," acting Deputy Commissioner Helen Ball said in a statement. "When COVID regulations were introduced, the Met was clear that whilst we would not routinely investigate breaches of regulations retrospectively, there may be occasions when it would be appropriate to do so.

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"The information that we received with regard to the alleged breaches in Downing Street and Whitehall was sufficient to reach our criteria to begin such an investigation."

The report said the police investigated six incidents, dating from May 2020 through April 2021, gathered evidential material and made separate assessments for individuals connected with them.

"Our investigation was thorough and impartial and was completed as quickly as we could, given the amount of information that needed to be reviewed and the importance of ensuring that we had strong evidence for each [fixed penalty notice] referral," Ball said.

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