Downing Street parties: Cressida Dick confirms Met will investigate No 10 lockdown events
Met Police chief confirms an investigation into Downing Street Parties
The Metropolitan Police has launched an investigation into parties held at Downing Street during covid lockdowns.
Commissioner Cressida Dick made the announcement on Tuesday, saying: "We police without fear or favour. I absolutely understand there is deep public concern.
"I can confirm Met is investigating a number of events that took place at Downing Street".
Speaking at the London Assembly, the police chief said Scotland Yard is looking into "a number of events" in Downing Street and Whitehall after new evidence was brought forward by the Cabinet Office inquiry team.
Dick's announcement marks a stunning U-turn, with the Met having previously said its policy was not to undertake retrospective investigations of lockdown breaches.
She said the investigation was launched after the inquiry passed a "threshold".
Dick said there was evidence those involved knew what they were doing was an offence so not investigating would undermine the legitimacy of the law.
There seemed to be "little ambiguity" around the absence of any reasonable defence, she said.
Dick was unable to confirm "at this stage" which parties are being investigated, and on what timescale the public could expect the Met's findings.
The police investigation will delay publication of the long-awaited report by civil servant Sue Gray.
Labour have said they welcome the investigation by the Metropolitan police.
In a statement, Labour's Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said "With Boris Johnson's Downing Street now under police investigation, how on earth can he think he can stay on as Prime Minister?
"Millions of people are struggling to pay the bills, but Boris Johnson and his government are too wrapped up in scandal to do anything about it.
"Boris Johnson is a national distraction. Conservative MPs should stop propping him up and he should finally do the decent thing and resign."
Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey said the investigation was "the first step towards justice".
In a statement, he said: "Boris Johnson is not above the law, he must be treated like anyone else.
"I now expect the Met to question Boris Johnson under caution at his local police station.
"If found guilty, he and any others in Downing Street who have broken Covid rules should be fined in the same way as ordinary members of the public".
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