Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak fined for breaking the law at COVID lockdown parties

Calls for their resignations immediately followed

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak will both face fines referred by the Metropolitan Police for breaking COVID lockdown rules by attending parties at Downing Street and Whitehall.

The Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, along with Johnson’s wife Carrie, have been notified about the fixed penalty notices, which are the latest conclusions from the Met Police’s investigation.

Labour has called for both Johnson and Sunak to resign, while Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey demanded parliament be recalled for a vote of confidence in Johnson.


Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, said: “Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have broken the law and repeatedly lied to the British public. They must both resign. The Conservatives are totally unfit to govern. Britain deserves better.”

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “A Prime Minister who breaks the laws his Government makes and then lies about it isn’t fit for office. Families made huge sacrifices and obeyed the law. Many said their last goodbyes to loved ones on the phone while the Prime Minister partied. Boris Johnson must resign.”

A Prime Minister who breaks the laws his Government makes and then lies about it isn't fit for office. Families made…

Posted by Sadiq Khan on Tuesday, April 12, 2022

More than 50 cases for fixed penalties have now been referred by the Met.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister and Chancellor have today received notification that the Metropolitan Police intend to issue them with fixed penalty notices.”


Spokespeople for the Johnsons and Sunak said they had not been told which event the fines were linked to, however, all three were reported to be at the same gathering for the Prime Minister’s birthday in June 2020, accordin to BBC News.

The news follows Sue Gray’s report into gatherings held at Downing Street, a limited version of which was released in January so as to not conflict with the Met’s probe.

In total, it was revealed that Gray investigated 16 separate gatherings – including three that were not previously known about. Gray concluded that some of these events “should not have been allowed to take place.”

One of those included a “bring your own booze” event in Downing Street’s garden, which was held on May 20, 2020.

Under the rules that applied at the time of the alleged party, which dozens of Downing Street staff were invited to in an email sent by principal private secretary Martin Reynolds, people in England were subject to “not meeting up with any more than one person from outside your household” [via FullFact].

The law in May 2020 said “no person may participate in a gathering in a public place of more than two people” unless it was for one of a number of stated reasons. These included when the gathering was “essential for work purposes” or “all the persons in the gathering are members of the same household”. Strict social distancing guidelines were also in place.

Fixed penalty notices were issued to people who broke COVID restrictions in England. FPNs are an enforcement tool, which allow people to pay a penalty instead of being prosecuted and potentially face a criminal record. If a fine is paid within 28 days, all liability for the offence is discharged.

Two organisers of illegal bank holiday raves in August 2020 were handed fixed penalty notices for £10,000 – just one example of many breaches during the pandemic.

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