Met says no fines for politicians who attended Deputy Speaker pandemic gathering

Deputy Speaker, Dame Eleanor Laing. Credit: PA

Police will not fine anyone who attended a gathering in the House of Commons that was alleged to have broken coronavirus rules in December 2020.

The gathering on December 8 was said to have been arranged by Commons Deputy Speaker Dame Eleanor Laing to celebrate the birthdays of Tory MP Virginia Crosbie and peer Baroness Jenkin, while London was in Tier 2 at the time.

Under Tier 2 measures, people were prohibited from socialising inside with anybody outside their household or support bubble.

Once reports of the gathering surfaced, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson accused Tory MP Sir Bernard Jenkin of "monstrous hypocrisy" for allegedly attending the event, before sitting on a panel of MPs that found him guilty of misleading MPs over the Partygate scandal.

In a statement, The Metropolitan Police said: "An investigation, which opened in July 2023, into alleged breaches of Covid regulations in Parliament on 8 December 2020, has closed.

"Officers assessed the available information and concluded it did not meet the threshold for the referral of any fixed penalty notices (FPNs).

"Our approach to the assessment of these allegations has been consistent throughout. The individuals affected have been told there will be no further action."

It had already been confirmed by a spokesperson for the Commons Speaker’s Office that Dame Eleanor did not receive a fixed penalty notice from police regarding that event.

Ms Crosbie had also said she did not receive a penalty from the Met.

It brings to an end the force’s investigations into alleged breaches of Covid regulations, which previously led to fixed penalty notices for Mr Johnson and then-chancellor Rishi Sunak over a gathering for the former prime minister’s 56th birthday.

Dame Eleanor and Ms Crosbie remain under investigation by the Commons standards watchdog over whether rules for MPs were broken.

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