he Metropolitan Police are looking into new alleged breaches of Covid rules by Conservative Party staffers and a Tory MP, the force confirmed on Monday.
Detectives are assessing fresh evidence in relation to reported pandemic law breaking in 2020 and 2021.
It is understood the cases relate to:
– Reports of a “jingle and mingle” Christmas party at Conservative Campaign headquarters in December 2020
– Allegations made to police on June 15 this year that senior Tory MP and Privileges Committee member Sir Bernard Jenkin attended a birthday party when pandemic restrictions were in place
– Potential breaches of Covid laws between June 2020 and May 2021 in Downing Street and at Chequers uncovered in Boris Johnson’s diaries
A Met Police spokesman said: “A number of other events have subsequently been referred to us which we are in the process of assessing.”
They added that investigations will only be launched retrospectively where there is “evidence of a serious and flagrant breach” and it is proportionate, those involved did know or ought to have known they were breaking the rules.
“It would not be appropriate to prejudge the outcome of these assessments or to provide a running commentary on their progress,” the force said in a statement.
The announcement comes just hours before MPs will debate the Privileges Committee report that said Mr Johnson misled Parliament over partygate.
Rishi Sunak looks set to avoid any potential vote on the report recommendations, which were Mr Johnson be suspended for 90 days, had he not resigned, and lose access to a parliamentary pass usually available to ex-MPs.
Downing Street said the Prime Minister’s schedule on Monday “doesn’t include attending Parliament” and that he has commitments he “can’t move”.
The Met issued 126 fines to 83 people for Covid rule breaking in Number 10 and across Whitehall, under Operation Hillman.