Police close investigation into alleged Tory lockdown party in parliament

Politics

The Metropolitan Police has closed its investigation into whether COVID rules were broken during a gathering in parliament on 8 December 2020.

The event was reportedly hosted by the deputy speaker of the Commons, Eleanor Laing, to mark the birthdays of Conservative MP Virginia Crosby and peer Baroness Jenkin – the wife of fellow Tory and MP Sir Bernard Jenkin.

However, it took place when London was under Tier 2 restrictions, meaning people couldn’t socialise indoors with others from a different household.

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The force launched its investigation into the event back in July after the details appeared in the media, saying it had “assessed material” and wanted to look for “potential breaches”.

But issuing a statement on Friday, they said, having looked at the available information, the gathering “did not meet the threshold for the referral of any fixed penalty notices” and there would be no further action.

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The Met also confirmed it was their final investigation into alleged breaches of COVID rules.

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The force previously issued 126 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) over lockdown breaking parties in Downing Street and Whitehall throughout the pandemic – including to the then-prime minister Boris Johnson and his wife, as well as then-chancellor Rishi Sunak.

They also announced in October that 24 fines would be issued over the so-called “jingle and mingle” party in Conservative headquarters on 14 December 2020, hosted by the Tories’ London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey, who latterly received a peerage from Mr Johnson.

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