Government’s former ethics chief reportedly fined over ‘partygate’ scandal

Helen MacNamara is said to have received a £50 fine on Friday in connection with a leaving do held in the Cabinet Office.

Amy Gibbons
Sunday 03 April 2022 22:45
The Met has been investigating alleged parties held at No 10 Downing Street during lockdowns (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
The Met has been investigating alleged parties held at No 10 Downing Street during lockdowns (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Government’s former ethics chief has been fined over the “partygate” scandal, according to reports.

Helen MacNamara, who used to be the deputy cabinet secretary, is said to be among the first group of people to receive a fixed-penalty notice (FPN) from Scotland Yard as part of its investigation into alleged lockdown-breaching parties in Downing Street and Whitehall.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Ms MacNamara received a £50 fine on Friday in connection with a leaving do held in the Cabinet Office on June 18 2020 to mark the departure of a private secretary.

Meanwhile, several reports suggest people have also received fines linked with a gathering that took place on the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral last year. These FPNs were among the initial round of 20 issued by the Metropolitan Police.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been accused of attending lockdown-breaking parties (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Ms MacNamara was the director general of propriety and ethics in the Cabinet Office from 2018 to 2020 and left Government to work for the Premier League.

The purpose of the role was to ensure the highest standards of propriety, integrity and governance within Government.

It has also been reported by ITV News that Boris Johnson will not be interviewed by the Metropolitan Police as part of their “partygate” investigation.

This is because the force is not interviewing those who have received questionnaires as part of the inquiries, and could potentially be fined, the broadcaster said.

The Met is investigating 12 events, including as many as six that Mr Johnson is said to have attended, and has sent out more than 100 questionnaires.

The PM received his in February.

ITV said the only officials being interviewed are “witnesses”, whose role is to help the police interpret questionnaires submitted by other people.

“The Met are not interviewing those who received questionnaires and are in the frame to be fined,” it said.

The Met declined to comment.

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