Boris Johnson answered the Metropolitan Police’s partygate questionnaire | Political news

Boris Johnson has answered a Metropolitan Police questionnaire about Downing Street gatherings during coronavirus restrictions.

A Number 10 spokesperson confirmed to Sky News that the Prime Minister returned the document.

Downing Street has previously said Mr Johnson’s responses will not be made public. The PM had seven days to respond to the questionnaire, which was sent him last friday.

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Partygate looms over PM’s UK tour

The questionnaire has a legal status

The document – which was sent to anyone who witnessed the alleged COVID-19[female[feminine deconfinement parties – asks for the recipient’s account and an explanation of their participation in an event.

Scotland Yard said the questionnaire has official legal status and must be answered honestly.

The force has contacted more than 50 people believed to have been involved in the 12 events it is investigating as part of Operation Hillman, which was launched following the findings of a Cabinet Office inquiry into the allegations from partygate.

The Met said those contacted will not necessarily be fined.

But a statement earlier this month said: “However, if following an investigation officers find it appropriate because COVID regulations have been breached without a reasonable excuse, a Fixed Penalty Notice will be issued. normally issued.”

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The First Division Officials Association (FDA), a union that represents civil servants, revealed that it had called on officials involved in the investigation to be able to see the notes on the evidence they provided to the Cabinet Office survey to help inform their Met Q&A.

According to ITV News, staff were told they could view notes of their own interview in a letter from Sue Gray, the senior official who led the investigation.

The Cabinet Office declined to comment.

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PM “sorry” for lockdown parties

How did we come here?

Allegations of lockdown exit events in Downing Street and Whitehall in 2020 and 2021 have mounted pressure on the Prime Minister, with some of his own backbenchers joining opposition parties in calling on Mr Johnson to take the plunge.

A partial version of the Cabinet Office inquiry said Downing Street lockdown rallies represented a “serious failure” and were “hardly justifiable”.

The Prime Minister apologized following the highly critical report and promised changes at the top of his Number 10 operation, with a number of senior aides leaving as part of a Downing Street reshuffle.

After Gray’s initial report, which covered 16 gatherings, was released, the Met announced it would be investigating a dozen of those events for potential breaches of COVID regulations.

These include an event which happened at the Downing Street flat on November 13, 2020 – night aides Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain quit their number 10 roles – and an event to mark the Prime Minister’s birthday on June 19, 2020.

The Prime Minister is said to have attended six of the 12 events under investigation.

Last week a new photo emerged of Mr Johnson to a Christmas quiz in issue 10an event which the police initially decided not to investigate.

But the Met is now rethinking its assessment of the event following the publication of the image of the Prime Minister next to an open bottle of liquor, crisps, a person wearing tinsel and another wearing a beanie of Christmas.

Ms Gray has delivered over 300 images and over 500 pages of information to Scotland Yard.

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MP: The new photo of the party shows the PM

How struggling is the PM?

A total of 14 Conservative MPs have so far called for Mr Johnson to quit, but the momentum behind the internal party push for the Prime Minister to leave has faded in recent weeks.

Many MPs are believed to be awaiting the outcome of the police inquiry into partygate.

If Mr Johnson is fined it would likely spark a new wave of calls for him to leave.

The prime minister has so far rejected the idea of ​​quitting on the line, meaning Tory critics will have to force a vote of no confidence in his party leadership.

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Tory calls for vote of confidence from MPs

Read more: Which Tory MPs have called on the Prime Minister to quit?

A total of 54 letters – from 15% of the party’s 360 MPs – are needed to trigger a leadership vote.

If Mr Johnson wins such a ballot, he would be shielded from another leadership challenge for a year.

If he lost, he would have to resign and a successor as party leader and prime minister would be chosen.

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