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Case update 16 December 2022

Partygate: Permission hearing in our case against the Met Police’s handling of probe into Downing Street parties

Joshua Bratt / Alamy Stock Photo

As we mark two years since the lockdown-busting Downing Street Christmas Party, Good Law Project can confirm that there will be a hearing to decide whether we can bring our case, along with former Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lord Paddick, against the Metropolitan Police’s handling of the Partygate investigation to the High Court. That hearing will take place on 22 February 2023.

The evidence that those in power had flouted the laws that stopped you and I seeing our friends and family during the lockdowns emerged in late 2021. Remarkably, the Metropolitan Police refused to launch a criminal investigation – but changed course after Good Law Project began legal proceedings against it to compel it to investigate.

During the course of that investigation, the Metropolitan Police concluded that both former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and present Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had committed a criminal offence in attending lockdown parties. They fined both the former and present Prime Ministers – neither of whom challenged the conclusion.

However, the Met failed to examine Johnson’s attendance at other gatherings, in November and December 2020 and January 2021. And in June, we launched a second round of legal proceedings.

The Met has failed to explain why Boris Johnson was not sent questionnaires regarding these other gatherings, nor fined for attending them, when a number of civil servants and officials who did were questioned and fined.

We believe the facts raise important questions about equal treatment before the law. The Met must show it is policing those in power without fear or favour. The same laws must be applied to the powerful as to you and I.

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You can read the decision ordering an oral hearing here.

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