Met will not probe No10 parties unless Sue Gray inquiry finds evidence of criminality

13 January 2022, 17:47 | Updated: 13 January 2022, 18:47

The Met Police said it will not be investigating the No10 parties unless evidence of criminal behaviour is uncovered in the cabinet office's independent inquiry.
Met will not pThe Met Police said it will not be investigating the No10 parties unless evidence of criminal behaviour is uncovered in the cabinet office's independent inquiry.robe No10 parties unless Sue Gray inquiry finds evidence of criminality. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed it will not investigate the alleged lockdown-breaching parties at Downing Street unless the Sue Gray inquiry finds evidence of criminality.

Scotland Yard said it will not be investigating the alleged breaches at this time, however, if significant evidence becomes available, officers may review and consider it.

The force said officers do not normally investigate breaches of Covid regulations when they are reported long after they are alleged to have taken place.

A spokesman for the Met said: "The Metropolitan Police Service is aware of widespread reporting relating to alleged breaches of the Health Protection Regulations at Downing Street and Department for Education on various dates and has received correspondence in relation to this reporting.

"Throughout the pandemic the Met has followed the national four Es approach of enforcing the Coronavirus Regulations.

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"Where live ongoing breaches of the restrictions were identified, officers engaged with those present, explained the current restrictions, encouraged people to adhere to them, and only as a last resort moved to enforcement.

"In line with the Met's policy, officers do not normally investigate breaches of Coronavirus Regulations when they are reported long after they are said to have taken place. However, if significant evidence suggesting a breach of the regulations becomes available, officers may review and consider it.

"The Cabinet Office is conducting an inquiry into gatherings at Number 10 Downing Street and the Department for Education.

"The Met has ongoing contact with the Cabinet Office in relation to this inquiry. If the inquiry identifies evidence of behaviour that is potentially a criminal offence it will be passed to the Met for further consideration."

The statement comes after Boris Johnson issued a humiliating apology to MPs on Wednesday, after he admitted attending a 'Bring Your Own Booze' garden party at Downing Street in May 2020.

Read more: Boris Johnson accused of attending mid-lockdown 'BYOB' party in No10 garden

It comes after a leaked email published by ITV, showed a senior aide inviting more than 100 Downing Street employees to "make the most of the lovely weather" in the garden of No 10.

It is the latest in a series of allegations surrounding parties in No 10 which took place while the country was under tough coronavirus restrictions.

The allegations are being investigated by Sue Gray - one of the UK's top civil servants.

Ms Gray, who is in her 60s, is understood to have not been present at any of the parties under investigation.

Her findings could be revealed as early as next week.