Laws were broken at Downing Street parties, says top Tory Anne-Marie Trevelyan

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Laws have been broken at lockdown-busting parties in Downing Street but Boris Johnson won't admit it yet, top Tory Anne-Marie Trevelyan has said.

Scotland Yard revealed earlier this week that 20 fines had been issued in relation to Covid restrictions at gatherings in Whitehall during lockdown.

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Despite the fixed penalty notices confirming rules were breached, the Prime Minister has so far refused to accept laws were broken.

Giving evidence to MPs on the Commons' Liaison Committee, the PM was repeatedly pressed to accept the Met's findings, but would not.

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But, asked about the Partygate scandal on Thursday, Trade Secretary Ms Trevelyan said the Prime Minister “wants to wait until the whole process of the police review has been done” before making any comment.

She said, however, that the Metropolitan Police’s decision to issue 20 fines linked to the Partygate scandal meant coronavirus lockdown laws were broken in Whitehall.

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Laws were broken at Downing Street parties, says top Tory Anne-Marie Trevelyan

Prime Minister Boris Johnson giving evidence at the Commons' Liaison Committee.

Asked if Justice Secretary Dominic Raab misspoke on Wednesday when he said there were clear breaches of the law, she told Sky News: “No, he is the Justice Secretary and he has set out a position.

“I think if you or I get a fine, we hopefully pay it and move on from there. And I hope, and I assume, that those who have been fined by the police will pay their fines and that will be the punishment that they have accepted.”

Pressed on whether 20 fines being issued meant there were 20 instances of people breaking the law, she said: “Well, that’s right. They’ve broken the regulations that were set in the Covid Act, and police deem that that was what they did and therefore they’ve been fined accordingly.”

Asked why the PM would not say this, she said: “Because, as I say, he wants to wait until the whole process of the police review has been done.”

Mr Johnson dodged questions about his future if he is found to have broken coronavirus laws, when he gave evidence to MPs on Wednesday.

SNP MP Pete Wishart suggested the Prime Minister would be “toast” if he was hit with a fine.

Mr Johnson said: “I don’t in any way wish to minimise the importance of the issue and your point but I just want to return to what I have said and that is: that would come under the category of running commentary, in my view.”

Pressed on whether he had broken the ministerial code and whether that would be a resignation issue, Mr Johnson said: “I think you’re just going to have to hold your horses and wait until the conclusion of the investigation when there will be a lot more clarity and I will be back before this committee and, I have no doubt, before the body of the House of Commons.”

Former Runrig musician Mr Wishart said: “I was in rock and roll for 15 years, I could never even start to compete and keep up with activities in No 10 during lockdown and the partying culture you created.”

Mr Johnson said: “Your question is a very good illustration of why it is important that we should wait until the conclusion of the investigation.”

The fines handed out by cops are thought to be the first tranche, with more to come in the weeks ahead.

Scotland Yard is investigating 12 parties in total, a number of which the PM is reported to have been at.

Whitehall enforcer Sue Gray has also compiled an in-depth report into the Partygate allegations.

Her interim report, released before the Met began investigating, found “there were failures of leadership and judgment” in No10 and “excessive consumption of alcohol” that was “not appropriate in a professional workplace”.

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