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Police float 30 more fines over UK government’s COVID rule-breaking parties – POLITICO

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LONDON — More than 50 fines have now been proposed as part of a police investigation into rule-breaking parties that took place at the center of the British government despite strict coronavirus restrictions.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police, which is conducting an investigation into a string of gatherings that took place in Downing Street and other government departments amid the COVID-19 curbs, confirmed it had sent “over 50 referrals for fixed penalty notices” to the country’s criminal records office, which can then press ahead with fining an individual.

It means around another 30 fines have been issued since the last update at the end of March.

The force meanwhile said it was “continuing to assess significant amounts of investigative material” and “further referrals may be made” to the criminal records office.

The investigation was launched earlier this year amid a furore over multiple reports of rule-breaching parties, including in Boris Johnson’s own Downing Street base.

The police are not naming those who have been fined, but Downing Street said Monday that Johnson and the head of the U.K.’s civil service, Simon Case, had not received fines.

The latest fines were seized on by the opposition Labour Party, with Deputy Leader Angela Rayner branding it the “latest example of a distracted out-of-touch government, guilty of breaking the law, never mind enforcing it.”

Matt Fowler, who represents campaign group COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, said the news would be “unbelievably painful for bereaved families like mine to face as we try and move forward with our lives.”

https://www.politico.eu/article/police-issue-50-fines-downing-street-whitehall-covid-parties/