Met Police conclude partygate probe with 126 fines issued

Operation Hillman investigated alleged rule-breaking at Downing Street and across Whitehall.

Met Police conclude partygate probe with 126 fines issued iStock
The investigation was carried out by the Metropolitan Police into breaches of lockdown regulations during the pandemic.

The police investigation into partygate has concluded with 126 fines issued for the breach of lockdown rules, the Metropolitan Police has confirmed.

Operation Hillman investigated alleged breaches of Covid restrictions at Downing Street and across Whitehall during the pandemic, with the investigating costing a total of around £460,000.

The Met has said that it will not be releasing or confirming the identity of anyone involved in the investigation, or providing further details in its findings.

The fines related to events on eight dates, with each of the referrals resulting in a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) being issued.

2020: May 20, June 18, June 19, November 13, December 17, December 18

2021: January 14, April 16

Of the total number of FPNs, 53 were issued to 35 men and 73 to 48 women. A total of 28 people received between two and five referrals.

The investigation was concluded after a team of 12 detectives worked through 345 documents which included emails, door logs, diary entries and witness statements.

Detectives also assessed 510 photographs and CCTV images and 204 questionnaires as part of their enquiry.

Each line of enquiry looked at the date, the circumstances behind each event, and the actions of the individual, the Met explained.

Acting deputy commissioner of the Met Helen Ball said the investigation was “thorough and impartial”.

“There is no doubt that the pandemic impacted all of us in so many ways and strong feelings and opinions have been expressed on this particular issue,” she said.

“When Covid regulations were introduced, the Met was clear that whilst we would not routinely investigate breaches of regulations retrospectively, there may be occasions when it would be appropriate to do so.

“The information that we received with regard to the alleged breaches in Downing Street and Whitehall was sufficient to reach our criteria to begin such an investigation.

“Our investigation was thorough and impartial and was completed as quickly as we could, given the amount of information that needed to be reviewed and the importance of ensuring that we had strong evidence for each FPN referral.

“This investigation is now complete.”