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UK police investigating Downing Street lockdown parties

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British police said on Tuesday they are investigating a series of events held at Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Downing Street offices during strict Covid-19 lockdowns following allegations of parties that broke the law.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Milton Keynes University Hospital, north of London, Britain on January 24, 2022. Picture: Adrian Dennis/Pool via Reuters

By Alistair Smout and Kate Holton

LONDON – British police are investigating alleged lockdown breaches at Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Downing Street residence after receiving evidence from an internal government probe into a series of gatherings.

Johnson is fighting for his political survival after new allegations that he broke the Covid-19 lockdown rules he imposed by attending a surprise birthday party in Downing Street when social gatherings indoors were banned.

That added to a long list of alleged lockdown breaches in Downing Street, including one ‘bring your own booze’ party, which Johnson has said he attended thinking it was a work event.

Police will now investigate, London’s Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said on Tuesday.

“I can confirm that the Met (Metropolitan Police) is now investigating a number of events that took place at Downing Street and Whitehall in the last two years in relation to potential breaches of Covid-19 regulations,” she said.

The police investigation could force a delay to the internal inquiry commissioned by Johnson and carried out by senior official Sue Gray, who is expected to report her findings later this week in what was seen as a key moment for Johnson’s future as prime minister.

– REUTERS

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