LONDON — U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak will be issued with fines for attending rule-breaking parties held while strict coronavirus restrictions were in place, Downing Street said on Tuesday.
“The prime minister and chancellor of the exchequer have today received notification that the Metropolitan Police intend to issue them with fixed penalty notices. We have no further details, but we will update you again when we do,” a No. 10 spokesperson said.
It comes after the police said 50 fines have now been proposed as part of their investigation into breaches of COVID-19 restrictions. The fines, officially known as Fixed Penalty Notices, are issued for low-level offenses and are intended as a way to keep people out of the courts, though if someone refuses to pay they can be prosecuted.
The police investigation was launched earlier this year after multiple reports of rule-breaching parties, including in Boris Johnson’s own offices and the garden of Downing Street.
The police have not named the individuals it plans to fine, but Downing Street said previously it would disclose if the prime minister was issued with a fine.
Johnson has been accused of attending multiple parties in Downing Street, including a birthday party on June 19, 2020 in the Downing Street Cabinet Room. He was also alleged to have attended the so-called “bring your own booze” garden drinks on May 20, 2020. Johnson repeatedly said no rules were broken. Last December, Sunak told the House of Commons he did not attend any parties.
The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Keir Starmer, said both Johnson and Sunak should resign. “Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have broken the law and repeatedly lied to the British public,” he said.
Johnson’s wife Carrie has also received a fine, her spokesperson confirmed, but has not been given any further details.
Carrie Johnson was linked to two of the parties under investigation: one in May 2020 when she was pictured alongside her husband in the Downing Street garden and a surprise birthday gathering for her husband in June 2020.
The article has been updated with additional details.