Allegra Stratton announces resignation after leaked ‘party’ video
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The Metropolitan Police has confirmed it will not investigate the allegations of parties that breached coronavirus rules in December 2020, despite huge public pressure for action to be taken against the rulebreakers. The force has said there is a lack of evidence available to take on an investigation – a move that has angered opposition MPs and the public.
The alleged parties have caused widespread upset and furthered distrust in the Government at a crucial time when harsher coronavirus restrictions could be around the corner.
The Prime Minister has maintained that all rules were followed in Number 10 last winter.
The scandal has led to the resignation of one of the Prime Minister’s former advisors, as Allegra Stratton was caught on camera joking about the party and making light of how it wasn’t permitted under the rules at the time.
But the Metropolitan Police has said that despite the evidence showing multiple Downing Street staff in conversation regarding the event, the force won’t investigate.
The Met has declined to investigate what happened in Boris Johnson’s home and office (Image: GETTY)
Boris Johnson is facing a thrashing from all sides over the alleged parties (Image: GETTY)
Why won’t the police investigate the parties?
The force said it had a policy of not retrospectively investigating alleged breaches of coronavirus laws, which has baffled many.
The Met said: “The Metropolitan Police Service has received a significant amount of correspondence relating to allegations reported in the media that the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations were breached at gatherings at No 10 Downing Street in November and December 2020.
“All this correspondence has been considered by detectives in detail, as well as footage published by ITV News.
Cressida Dick’s force has refused to investigate (Image: GETTY)
“The correspondence and footage does not provide evidence of a breach of the Health Protection Regulations but restates allegations made in the media.
“Based on the absence of evidence and in line with our policy not to investigate retrospective breaches of such regulations, the Met will not commence an investigation at this time.”
But policing and prosecution experts have noted there is a basis for investigating the events in Downing Street last year, and that the Met has made a choice not to find out if the law was broken.
The Good Law Project has written to the Met asking it to justify the refusal to investigate and threatened legal proceedings if the force does not explain its motives.
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Allegra Stratton resigned after the video emerged (Image: PA)
A spokesperson for the organisation said: “There have been multiple reports from people who say they were in attendance on the night that a party of 40 – 50 people took place in the Prime Minister’s own home.
“This would have been a clear breach of the “tier 3” restrictions in place at the time.
“Yet the Met claims there isn’t enough evidence to open a criminal investigation.
“Apparently this wasn’t even the only unlawful gathering held at Boris Johnson’s home during this period.
“Further reports have now emerged alleging there were gatherings at the Prime Minister’s flat on November 13, 2020, a leaving party at No. 10 held on November 27, 2020 for former aide Cleo Watson, and a party at the Department for Education on December 10, 2020.”
Express.co.uk has contacted the Metropolitan Police for comment.