Woman fined £12,000 for hosting birthday bash day after No 10 parties

Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

A London woman was fined £12,000 for hosting a lockdown-breaking gathering hours after two parties were held in Downing Street.

Around 40 people joined Vianna McKenzie-Bramble, 28, for an outdoor birthday party on an estate in Hackney, east London, on April 17 2021. In September she was ordered to pay a £12,000 fine within 28 days at a closed courtroom hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

In a witness statement, police rebuked McKenzie-Bramble for holding the party while the country was in a period of mourning after Prince Philip’s death.

At the time, Government guidance said: "You must not socialise indoors except with your household or support bubble. You can meet outdoors, including in gardens, in groups of six people or two households."

In the witness statement, Police Constable Lindsey England said: "I explained to Vianna that there needed to be consequences for her actions, namely organising such a large gathering during a time where there is still such a significant risk to public health.

"On this day in particular it was the funeral of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip.

The Queen sat alone at her husband’s funeral Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA

"The country is in mourning and only limited members of his close family were able to attend the ceremony.

"Vianna being so blase about organising such a large and illegal event for her 27th birthday party is totally unacceptable and disrespectful in light of everything that is going on in the world."

But on the eve of the funeral, advisers and civil servants gathered after work for two separate parties in Downing Street, it has emerged.

McKenzie-Bramble is among thousands of people who have been taken to court for breaching rules imposed by the Government to curb the spread of coronavirus.

No 10 has said sorry to Buckingham Palace for the parties and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s former director of communications, James Slack, has also apologised for the "anger and hurt" one of them – a leaving do held for him – had caused.

The Metropolitan Police has said any investigation into Downing Street parties by them would depend on evidence uncovered by the Cabinet Office inquiry.