PM must be interviewed by Met Police on Garden Party
Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey has written to Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Cressida Dick, calling on her to launch a full police investigation into the Downing Street Garden Party on 20 May 2020 including interviewing Boris Johnson under caution.
It comes after Boris Johnson admitted at Prime Minister's Questions today that he did attend the party but claims he thought it was a "work event".
The letter calls on Commissioner Dick to launch a full investigation into the illegal gathering, ensure the Prime Minister is interviewed under caution about his role and confirm that if he and others are found to have broken Covid laws, they will be charged and fined in the same way as ordinary members of the public.
It comes after figures revealed that over 17,700 people have been fined by the Metropolitan Police for breaching Covid laws during the pandemic, including 113 fines for holding a gathering of over 30 people.
Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:
"Boris Johnson admitted today that he did attend this illegal party in the Downing Street garden. The Met Police must now confirm that a full investigation will be launched and that the Prime Minister himself will be interviewed.
"People have sacrificed so much during this pandemic, from cancelling weddings to not being able to say goodbye to their loved ones in hospital.
"The police must reassure the public that justice will be done and there isn't one rule for them and another for Boris Johnson and his colleagues in Downing Street."
The letter reads:
Dear Dame Cressida,
I am writing further to the Prime Minister's comments regarding the party which took place at the Downing Street garden in May 2020.
You will be aware that the Prime Minister has, today, confirmed in the House of Commons that he did attend the party in the Downing Street garden on 20 May 2020. It is now vital that you take urgent action to investigate potentially unlawful behaviour on the part of all those who attended the party, including Boris Johnson.
On the day of the Downing Street garden party, the Metropolitan Police Twitter account published a tweet which stressed the importance of continuing to follow the lockdown rules in place at the time, which included not meeting with more than one other person outdoors. It is clear from the descriptions of the Downing Street Party that it failed to meet these criteria. It also was clearly not a work meeting - given the instruction to "bring your own booze". It was therefore almost certainly an illegal gathering.
Your police force have, over the course of the pandemic, rightly taken stringent action against those who have flouted lockdown rules. Over 17,700 have been fined by the Metropolitan Police for breaching Covid laws. That includes 113 fines for holding a gathering of over 30 people, more than any police force in the country.
Can you reassure the public that there isn't one rule for them and another for Boris Johnson, by answering the following questions:
- Can you confirm that the Metropolitan Police will be launching a full investigation into the illegal gathering held in Downing Street on 20 May?
- Given Boris Johnson's admission that he himself attended this gathering, will the Metropolitan Police commit to interviewing the Prime Minister under caution in the course of this investigation?
- Can you confirm that if those who attended the gathering including the Prime Minister are found to have broken Covid laws, they will be charged and fined in the same way as ordinary members of the public?
I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.
Ed Davey MP
Leader of the Liberal Democrats