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Politics

The Met Police will now investigate the Downing Street parties, Cressida Dick announces

The force had originally said it wouldn’t investigate the alleged lockdown breaches

The Metropolitan Police will investigate allegations of lockdown-breaking parties held in Number 10 Downing Street and across Whitehall, Commissioner Cressida Dick has announced.

Dick announced the force is investigating “a number of” events that took place throughout the pandemic after Sue Gray referred the matter to them.

The Met had previously said it would not probe the parties, citing a lack of evidence to look into retrospective breaches , but said its stance had change after receiving “outline findings” from Sue Gray’s inquiry.

Speaking at the London Assembly this morning, Dick said Scotland Yard was not investigating all the alleged parties and would not be providing a “running commentary”.

Dick said: “What I can tell you this morning is that as a result firstly 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.”

However, Dick added that the Met’s investigation would not mean punishments for all involved – and refused to say which parties are being investigated.

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She said: “I absolutely understand that there is deep public concern about the allegations that have been in the media in recent weeks. I completely understand that. The vast majority of people have acted responsibly during the pandemic.”

New reports of parties in Downing Street and across Whitehall have emerged on a regular basis since the “Partygate” scandal broke in November.

In the latest revelation, ITV News reported on Monday that up to 30 people attended a birthday party for Boris Johnson, held in Number 10’s Cabinet Room, in June 2020.

Downing Street said Johnson was there for “less than 10 minutes”.

Angela Rayner, deputy Labour leader, welcomed the investigation and reiterated calls for Johnson to resign in the wake of the news.

She said: “With Boris Johnson’s Downing Street now under police investigation, how on earth can he think he can stay on as Prime Minister?

“Millions of people are struggling to pay the bills, but Boris Johnson and his government are too wrapped up in scandal to do anything about it.”

It can be hard to keep on top of all of the revelations, what with there being so many, so here’s a list of them – or the ones we know about anyway.

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