Hundreds of Covid fines issued in same week of Downing Street ‘garden party’

Hundreds of Covid fines issued in same week of Downing Street ‘garden party’

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undreds of fines for breaking the Covid rules were handed out by police in the same week No10 allegedly held a garden party in the first national lockdown.

Scotland Yard has said it is in contact with the Cabinet Office about the May 20 in 2020 allegations at Downing Street after a bombshell email leaked on Monday showed more than one hundred No10 staff were invited to a garden party.

ITV News reported 40 people were believed to have attended the event.

There were 807 fixed penalty notices issued for breaches of Covid rules in England and Wales in the week between May 15 and May 21 2020, the latest data from the National Police Chiefs’ Council shows.

A total of 118,963 fines were processed by police between March 27 2020 and December 16 2021, according to figures.

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Lockdown fines increased to £100 in England on May 13 in 2020 which could be handed out to anyone believed to be in breach of the Covid restrictions.

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No 10 ‘lockdown drinks’ are ‘smack in the face’ says Michael Rosen

Acclaimed children’s author Michael Rosen has said the alleged rule-breaking drinks party in Downing Street during the first national lockdown, when he was in a coma with Covid, is a “smack in the face”.

The former children’s laureate, who is still suffering the after-effects of the illness, said the alleged event showed “contempt” for others.

The allegations are being examined by senior civil servant Sue Gray as part of her investigation into claims of lockdown-busting parties in Whitehall and Downing Street.

Mr Rosen, who said he is struggling to see out of one eye and hear out of one ear, told BBC News: “My first thought is the stories that my wife and family told me, that they were at home trying to maintain contact with me, get contact with me, because they couldn’t come in and see me, and of course, I could have died.

“We’ve just heard the awful stories all day of people who said goodbye to their loved ones from home on Zoom calls and phone calls.”

He called on those who attended the alleged drinks to come forward.

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Boris must say whether he attended ‘party’ – Scottish Tory leader

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said he felt “furious” at the latest allegations of a lockdown-busting party in Downing Street, as he called on the Prime Minister to say whether he attended or not “right now”.

Asked if Boris Johnson should resign, Mr Ross repeated his position that the Prime Minister could not continue if he is found to have misled Parliament.

Other opposition parties at the Scottish Parliament have called on Mr Ross to submit a letter of no confidence in the Prime Minister.

Speaking at Holyrood, Mr Ross said he was disappointed Mr Johnson has not revealed whether he had attended the gathering or not.

He said: “I’m angry. I think that reflects what people across Scotland and the UK are feeling right now.”

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UK reports highest daily Covid-19 deaths since February last year – latest data

The UK has reported its highest daily death toll since February last year in the latest government data, but cases have fallen.

Tuesday’s total of 379 further Covid-19 fatalities is the highest since February 24 last year when 442 fatalities were reported.

However, the increase in cases of 120,821 is markedly less than last Tuesday’s total of 218,724. It is the lowest daily increase in cases reported across the UK since December 27.

The data also reveals almost 20,000 patients were in hospitals across the UK with Covid-19 as of Monday, standing at a total of 19,828 people.

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More voters think PM should resign after latest Downing Street party reports – poll

The proportion of voters who think Boris Johnson should resign has risen by 12 points since details of the Downing Street “bring your own booze” party emerged, according to polling.

A snap poll from Savanta ComRes found 66% of UK adults thought the Prime Minister should step down.

In Conservative voters, this figure was 42%.

While 62% of those polled felt the party in the No 10 garden in May 2020 was a worse breach of trust than the initial Christmas party revelations.

The survey of 1,040 UK adults on January 11 found the proportion of those who felt Mr Johnson should resign had risen by 12 points since December. Among Tory voters this was a nine-point rise.

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NHS trust postpones non-urgent operations amid staff shortage

A hospital trust in the south east is postponing some non-urgent operations and redeploying staff as it feels pressure amid the nationwide surge in Covid.

University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust (UHSussex) faces “unprecedented delays” in discharging patients as well as high numbers of staff off with the virus.

Chief Nurse Dr Maggie Davies said the trust is doing “everything we can to ease pressures” and said urgent operations and cancer treatment are being prioritised.

Dr Davies said: “Unfortunately, this does mean postponing some non-urgent operations and outpatient appointments to accommodate those patients with the most urgent clinical need.

“We will continue to prioritise cancer and our other most urgent operations and appointments and are in the process of contacting those patients whose appointments are being postponed.

“We know it is distressing for people when operations are delayed and we are doing everything we can to ease pressures.”

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Covid campaign group for bereaved families demands apology from PM over partygate

Campaign group Covid Bereaved Families for Justice has written to Boris Johnson urging him to “do the right thing” and say whether he attended a garden party at Downing Street during the first lockdown.

The letter was signed by Hannah Brady, who said her father’s death certificate was being signed on the day of the Number 10 gathering.

The letter stated: “It is now clear that whilst my dad’s death certificate was being signed and me and my younger sister were grieving alone, dozens of people were gathered, clutching a bottle they had been invited to bring, in the same place you told me you had done everything you could.

“You can only imagine the pain, anguish and anger this news has brought to me and those of us lost a loved one to Covid-19.

“To make matters worse, when asked about this event by Sky News you laughed, smirked and seemed to treat it as one big joke.”

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Scotland ‘turning the corner’ on Omicron, says Sturgeon

There are some signs Scotland is “starting to turn the corner” on the Omicron variant spike, Nicola Sturgeon has told MSPs.

Speaking in Holyrood, the First Minister said: “The situation in Scotland just now is undoubtedly serious but perhaps less so than it might have been, and there are also some signs that we may be starting to turn a corner.”

But Ms Sturgeon added that there are still some uncertainties which are yet to be addressed.

“I have already explained the uncertainties in the data which mean that the picture is not yet as clear as we would like it to be,” she added.

“And, of course, we do not yet know what impact the post-Christmas return to work and school will have on the level of infection.”

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Welsh health minister blasts PM during media briefing

Wales’ health minister Eluned Morgan has used a Welsh Government press briefing to slate Prime Minister Boris Johnson for his actions in May 2020, when he reportedly attended a drinks party at Downing Street.

Baroness Morgan said: “If we remember back to what was happening in May 2020, it was about the most acute time in the whole crisis.

“I just think about the sacrifices that so many people in Wales made at that time. Sacrifices of not being able to say goodbye face to face to loved ones in hospitals, sacrifices people made in terms of not being able to leave their homes to see loved ones, not being able to reach out for the support that so many people wanted at that time.

“To have that juxtaposed with a situation where within Downing Street a party was going on really defies belief.

“I do hope that the Prime Minister will do his duty and report to the House of Commons this afternoon. It is his responsibility to lead from the front and to lead through example.”

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Lib Dems ask for emergency session of the Commons Liaison Committee

The Liberal Democrats have called for an emergency session of the Commons Liaison Committee to question the Prime Minister.

Lib Dem chief whip Wendy Chamberlain said: “Boris Johnson cannot be allowed to hide the truth from the public and Parliament any longer.

“He is using Sue Gray’s inquiry as a smokescreen and hoping this issue will just go away.”

Boris Johnson will face MPs at his routine session of Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.

However, Ms Chamberlain said a meeting of the Liaison Committee – made up of the chairs of Commons select committees – was needed to “grill Boris Johnson, find out what role he had in organising this party and whether he attended”.

Ms Chamberlain has written to Bernard Jenkin, the Tory chairman of the Liaison Committee, to ask for the session.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/covid-latest-news-updates-boris-johnson-cabinet-isolation-cut-five-days-us-omicron-nhs-b975980.html

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