Met Police will not investigate 10 Downing Street Christmas party

‘Absence of evidence’ to proceed with inquiry into historical case, says Scotland Yard

Andrew Woodcock
Political Editor
Thursday 09 December 2021 09:17
Comments
Johnson asked if there will be inquiry into No 10 parties he attended himself

The Metropolitan Police has said it will not investigate allegations that Covid-19 restrictions were broken at a party at 10 Downing Street on 18 December 2020.

In a statement, Scotland Yard said the decision was taken on the basis of the “absence of evidence” that rules were broken and in line with Met policy not to investigate historical allegations of breaches of Covid regulations.

But the police said that cabinet secretary Simon Case will pass on any further evidence which emerges as a result of the internal inquiry which Boris Johnson today ordered him to conduct into the allegations.

The statement said that police had received “a significant amount of correspondence” relating to allegations reported in the media that Downing Street staff held a Christmas party at a time when London was under strict Tier 3 controls which barred indoor gatherings for non-work purposes.

The correspondence was considered in detail by detectives, who also viewed leaked video footage showing Allegra Stratton and other No 10 aides joking about a party four days after it allegedly took place.

But the Met said: “The correspondence and footage does not provide evidence of a breach of the health protection regulations but restates allegations made in the media.

“Based on the absence of evidence and in line with our policy not to investigate retrospective breaches of such regulations, the Met will not commence investigation.”

Referring to Mr Case’s inquiry, the statement said: “If any evidence is found as a result of that investigation, it will be passed to the Met for further consideration.”

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner called on Mr Case to look into the allegations as long as six days ago, and urged him to pass any evidence of lockdown breaches to the police for possible prosecutions.

And Sir Keir Starmer today secured an assurance from Mr Johnson at prime minister’s questions in the Commons that any such evidence would be handed over to the Met.

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