Metropolitan Police confirms investigation into Downing Street lockdown rule-breaking allegations

Media gathered outside 10 Downing Street,Media gathered outside 10 Downing Street,
Media gathered outside 10 Downing Street,
The Metropolitan Police have confirmed they are investigating “as number of events” in Downing Street and Whitehall in relation to potential breaches of Covid rules.

Force Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said the development comes following information that has been provided to the Met by the Cabinet Office team already looking at the alleged events.

She told the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee: “We have a long-established and effective working relationship with the Cabinet Office, who have an investigative capability.

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“As you well know they have been carrying out an investigation over the last few weeks.

“What I can tell you this morning is that as a result of the information provided by the Cabinet Office inquiry team and, secondly, my officers’ own assessment, I can confirm that the Met is now investigating a number of events that took place at Downing Street and Whitehall in the last two years in relation to potential breaches of Covid-19 regulations.”

The move comes as the Prime Minister’s future in Number 10 is thought to be on a knife-edge, following numerous revelations about alleged events at the heart of Government while the country was supposed to be under strict rules restricting socialising.

Before now, the force had resisted calls for a police investigation, saying that there was not enough evidence and it was not its police to retrospectively investigate Covid rule breaches.

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Dame Cressida told the London Assembly meeting: “The fact that we are now investigating does not, of course, mean that fixed penalty notices will necessarily be issued in every instance and to every person involved.

“We will not be giving a running commentary on our current investigations.”

But there will be updates at “significant points”, she added.

She said “several other events” that appeared to have taken place in Downing Street and Whitehall had also been assessed, but they were not thought to have reached the threshold for criminal investigation.

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Senior Civil Servant Sue Gray's investigation into the claimed events will continue, a Cabinet Office spokesman confirmed.

They said in a statement: “The investigation being carried out by Sue Gray is continuing.

“There is in ongoing contact with the Metropolitan Police Service.”

It is not clear whether the publication of the senior official’s report will be delayed by the opening of the police investigation.