Boris Johnson says he wasn't fined in latest round but swerves other partygate questions

Neither Boris Johnson nor the Cabinet Secretary Simon Case (left) have received a fine in the latest round of Fixed Penalty Notices Credit: PA

Boris Johnson has said he was not issued a fine relating to the partygate scandal in the latest round of 50 fixed penalty notices handed out for coronavirus-law violations.

In an update on Operation Hillman - as the investigation into allegations of Downing Street parties is known - the Metropolitan Police said it had now made more than 100 referrals for fixed penalty notices (FPN).

Boris Johnson, his wife Carrie and Chancellor Rishi Sunak are among those to receive fines so far, however the PM denied receiving an FPN in the latest tranche.

Asked by broadcasters if he or Carrie Johnson had been issued with a second fixed-penalty notice, the PM said: "No, but as soon as we have more to say on that, as I've said many times before, you will be among the very first to know."

He swerved other questions on the partygate scandal however, refusing to say more until the conclusion of the police investigation.

Asked if he thought Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer had acted out of "honour" by saying he would resign if issued with a fine over so-called "beergate", Mr Johnson issued a similar response.

"As soon as I have anymore on this subject I will make sure that... you are amongst the very first to know."

Mr Johnson repeated that answer almost word for word when asked whether he was being honest with claims made last year that no rules were broken on Downing Street, given more than 100 fines had now been handed out.

Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, the UK's most senior civil servant, refused to reveal if he'd received a fine amid speculation that he had, however Downing Street said there was no update and it would provide one if he were to be fined.

Ministers dodged questions on whether they still had faith in the PM when asked about the latest development as they arrived for a Cabinet meeting in Stoke.

Home Secretary, Priti Patel refused to say whether she was embarrassed by the scale of rule breaking on Downing Street and did not give her support to the PM when given the opportunity.

Mr Case was initially in charge of running the government's internal inquiry into Downing Street rule-breaking, until he was implicated in a number of reports and the duty was passed to civil service colleague Sue Gray.

It was evidence uncovered by Ms Gray that led the Met Police to launch its investigation and her report into parties - set to be published when officers conclude their inquiries - is expected to be highly damaging for the government.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid, also chose not to answer when asked why the PM would not resign and education minister Michelle Donelan was not forthcoming in her support.

When asked if there was anything the PM could do to lose her support, the minister said, "well, of course", however she did not elaborate on what that would be.

The Met has not given an update on Operation Hillman since April 12, when it said it had made more than 50 referrals for fines.

It said fines have continued to be issued since then, however new updates were not provided during the month of local election campaigning as the force said doing so would break election rules.

The partygate investigation "remains live" the force said, and it's likely more fines could be issued in the future.

It is not clear which events the latest fines relate to, with the Met investigating at least 12 gatherings - of which Prime Minister Johnson is alleged to have attended up to six.

If he receives another fine it will be double his first, which was £100 reduced to £50 because he paid it within 14 days.

'Downing Street has scored a century of partygate fines and Boris Johnson's still not out': UK Editor Paul Brand has the latest:

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said "Britain deserves better" than having Mr Johnson as its prime minister.

"Boris Johnson's Downing Street has now reached a century of fixed penalty notices for their partying.

"They have racked up the dubious distinction of receiving more fines on the Prime Minister's watch than any other location.

"Boris Johnson made the rules, and then broke them at record-breaking scale. Britain deserves better."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is also under investigation over a gathering in Durham in April last year when most indoor socialising was banned.

Sir Keir said he would stand down if Durham Police finds he has broken Covid rules.

Police previously cleared him of wrongdoing after viewing a photograph which showed him drinking a beer with other staff present, but last week said it had launched a formal criminal investigation after “significant new information” came to light.

Sir Keir has always insisted no rules were broken, explaining that staff who had been working on the Hartlepool by-election campaign on the evening of April 30, 2021 paused briefly to eat a takeaway before resuming their work.

"I'm absolutely clear that no laws were broken, they were followed at all times," Sir Keir said in a press conference earlier this week, but added: "If the police decide to issue me with a Fixed Penalty Notice, I would of course do the right thing and step down."

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While Mr Johnson has so far resisted calls to stand down, many Tories remain deeply unhappy over events in No 10 and the pressure could increase if he is fined again.

There's also the threat of the long-awaited final report of Sue Gray, which many believe will be highly damaging for the PM.

The culture secretary and the education secretary said they still have faith in the prime minister despite the number of Covid fines in Whitehall and Downing Street passing 100.

Nadine Dorries and Nadhim Zahawi were asked the question before a cabinet meeting at a pottery in Staffordshire.

Responding to the question, the culture Secretary said "we do" and Mr Zahawi said "absolutely".