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Met police asked to investigate Downing Street lockdown Christmas party

Met police asked to investigate Downing Street lockdown Christmas party
Police chief says Met is ‘impartial’ and acts ‘without fear or favour’

The Metropolitan Police have been asked to launch an investigation into Christmas parties held at Downing Street during last year’s lockdown.

In a letter to the force’s commissioner Labour MP Barry Gardiner said officers “should investigate the matter further to establish the facts and see if any laws might have been broken”.

It comes after claims that No.10 staff drank into the early hours and played party games in contravention of Tier 3 lockdown rules last year.

Metropolitan police chief Cressida Dick had said earlier on Friday that she was not aware of any complaints against the prime minister’s office for allegedly breaking the rules.

“You asked if we are investigating – the answer to that is no,” said told LBC radio.

“And, as far as I’m aware, we have had no complaints and therefore I really can’t comment on what did or didn’t happen there

Asked what would happen if she received a letter, she said: “If I get a letter, I’ll read a letter.

“This is the Met. We are professional. We are impartial. We act without fear or favour. We follow evidence. That’s what we do.”

Mr Gardiner sent the letter following the interview and said he was “surprised to hear” that no investigation had yet been launched.

“It is alleged that over 50 people were in attendance at the event at that this may have been a breach of the then Covid rules,” he wrote.

“At the time such large gatherings were banned. It has also been alleged that there was a separate large event on 27 November 2020.”

The MP said if the events took place it implied that “there is one rule for the government and another for everyone else”.

Some repeat offenders who held parties during lockdown were issued with £10,000 fines.

The Covid-19 Bereaved families group on Thursday said they were “sickened” to hear of the revelations.

And the ex-head of the government’s legal service hinted the law may have been broken – noting that he had cancelled his own leaving party around the same time “for legal reasons”.

A No 10 spokesperson refused to deny parties had taken place and said only that rules had been followed.

“Covid rules have been followed at all times,” they said. The government issued similar statements in relation to the affair of Matt Hancock, and Dominic Cummings’ trip to Barnard Castle.