Good Law Project to sue Met Police over failure to properly investigate Partygate

The Good Law Project is accusing the Met of failing to issue questionnaires to Boris Johnson over three Covid law-breaking leaving dos that were held at 10 Downing Street.

10 Downing Street

The Good Law Project has announced that it is suing the Metropolitan Police over its failure to properly investigate lockdown parties in Downing Street and Whitehall.

The Met had previously stated that it would not investigate lockdown parties in Downing Street and Whitehall “based on the absence of evidence and in line with our policy not to investigate retrospective breaches”.

Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie then received fines for breaking lockdown rules after the Met changed its position, however it also announced that the pair would not be receiving further fines despite allegations of rule breaking at other events too.

The Good Law Project is accusing the Met of failing to issue questionnaires to Boris Johnson over three Covid law-breaking leaving dos that were held at 10 Downing Street.

They were for aide Lee Cain on 13 November 2020, for defence advisor Capt Steve Higham on 17 December 2020, for two No10 private secretaries on 14 January 2021.

The Mirror previously revealed that Boris Johnson was only sent questionnaires for two out of the six parties he attended.

The Good Law Project said in a statement: “The public have a right to know what really went on inside the Partygate investigation. The Met’s actions have raised grave concerns about the deferential way in which they are policing those in power. It stands in stark contrast to how ordinary people were policed during lockdown.

“It was only after we threatened to sue the Met in January 2022 that they agreed to investigate at all and the Prime Minister was eventually fined for attending a lockdown gathering in June 2020.

“We’ve given the Met multiple opportunities to explain why he was reportedly not sent questionnaires regarding these three other gatherings, nor issued with fixed penalty notices for attending them, when a number of civil servants and officials who did received both.”

It also went on to add: “We strongly believe that Good Law Project and our co-claimant, former senior Met Officer Lord Paddick, have standing to represent the public interest in this matter. If we aren’t allowed to bring this claim, we don’t believe anyone else will be in a position to do so.”

Lord Paddick said: “Members of the public will have seen Boris Johnson raising a glass at a party that he was apparently not even questioned about, and thought ‘If that had been me, I would have been fined.’ We are determined that the Prime Minister should be held to the same standard as the rest of us.”

“From its failure to hold the Prime Minister and those around him to account for their lockdown breaches, to shocking reports of institutional misogyny, discrimination and sexual harassment, the public’s faith in the Met has been shaken to the core this year. This is their moment to finally begin repairing the damage their inaction has done.

“Our challenge is grounded in a single, simple idea: for the law to have any meaning, it must apply equally to us all. The Met must explain their seeming lack of action in this matter. We won’t stop until the full story is uncovered.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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