Boris Johnson was not despatched a questionnaire by the Metropolitan Police earlier than it determined to not high quality him for attending two lockdown gatherings, it has been confirmed.
The capital’s police drive issued fines to different attendees on the two occasions in November 2020 and December 2020 however to not the prime minister.
The Independent and different media shops reported in May this yr that Mr Johnson had not been included in a brand new spherical of partygate fines and never despatched a questionnaire.
This was regardless of the prime minister giving speeches at each of the wine-fuelled gatherings, which noticed officers handed fixed-penalty notices.
The resolution to not high quality the outgoing PM is now topic to a authorized problem by legal professionals on the Good Law Project marketing campaign group.
In its authorized response the Met confirmed on the document that it had not issued questionnaires to Mr Johnson for the 2 occasions, which featured alcohol, photographic proof, and speeches.
“The Defendant can confirm that he did not send a questionnaire to the Prime Minister in respect of the gathering on 13 November 2020 and 17 December 2020,” the response says.
The drive claimed that opposite to the legal professionals’ claims, questionnaires weren’t “the defendant’s primary method of investigation” and that it was below no responsibility to ship them to Mr Johnson if “the answers to those questions were clear from other evidence”.
In its written proof the drive defended the concept the gatherings had “phases” a few of which have been fairly mandatory for work functions and attendance of which didn’t depend as a prison offence – whereas others weren’t mandatory and did.
A spokesperson for the Good Law Project mentioned: “Rishi Sunak’s Partygate fine suggests that passing through a gathering en route to a meeting doesn’t prevent you from being fined, so it’s far from clear how turning up to a gathering deliberately, raising a toast and encouraging the revels to continue can be compliant with the law.
“We don’t assume the Met’s response is according to their authorized responsibility of candour. And we actually don’t assume it’s according to what the Met has elsewhere conceded is their public responsibility to take care of public confidence in policing.”
Mr Johnson was not fined for attending the November or December occasions in query, however was issued with an FPN for attending the PM’s personal birthday celebration in June 2020.