UK police fine 20 over lockdown parties hosted by Boris Johnson and staff

British police said on Tuesday they were fining 20 people for parties hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his staff during the coronavirus lockdowns, and more people could be fined.

The Metropolitan Police said they would not identify the recipients of the fixed penalty notices, although Johnson’s office said it would disclose if he received one.

The force said officers were working on a “significant amount of investigative material” and more people could face fines later.

Opponents and some members of the ruling Conservative Party have said Johnson should resign if he is fined for breaking rules he imposed on the rest of the country during the pandemic.

Dozens of politicians and civil servants have been investigated over allegations that the government flouted its own pandemic restrictions.

Police sent questionnaires to more than 100 people, including the prime minister, and interviewed witnesses as part of the investigation.

Grip of power shaken

The partygate scandal had left Johnson’s tenure shaky before Russia launched a war in Ukraine more than a month ago, giving British politicians more pressing priorities.

Johnson’s grip on power has been shaken by public anger over revelations that his staff have been hosting “bring your own booze” office parties, birthday celebrations and “nighttime Fridays.” wine” in 2020 and 2021, while millions of people in Britain were barred from meeting friends and family due to its government’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Johnson has denied any wrongdoing, but he reportedly attended several of the dozens of events at his office at 10 Downing St. and other government buildings that are under police investigation.

He admitted to attending a ‘bring your own booze’ party in the Downing Street garden in May 2020 during the first lockdown, but insisted he thought it would be a work event.