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Tomorrow we will be in court for a hearing where it will be decided if we can push forward with our case against the Metropolitan Police’s handling of the Partygate investigation. The decision about whether our legal challenge will be heard in full in the High Court may be made that same day.
We launched this case alongside former Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Lord Paddick, in response to the Met’s failure to properly investigate Boris Johnson’s attendance at three lockdown gatherings in November and December 2020 and January 2021.
A number of civil servants and officials who were at these events were sent questionnaires by the police and fined for attending, but Boris Johnson did not face any sanctions. In relation to the two earlier events, he was not even sent a questionnaire.
The only Fixed Penalty Notice that Boris Johnson received in relation to Partygate was for attending a birthday party held in his honour in Downing Street in June 2020.
The Met has refused to explain the limited scope of its investigation. And it has failed to explain how it concluded that his attendance at the gatherings was lawful.
We believe this raises important questions about equal treatment before the law. The Met must show it is policing those in power without fear or favour.
This is the second time we have taken action against the Met over Partygate. When the revelations over lockdown breaches at Number 10 first emerged, the police refused – remarkably – to launch a criminal investigation at all. But after we began legal proceedings, the then Commissioner, Cressida Dick, abruptly changed course.
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