The report into alleged lockdown violations by government officials has been delayed following confirmation of a criminal investigation into the matter.
Sue Gray, the second permanent secretary at the Cabinet Office has been investigating the matter after the No 10’s permanent secretary Simon Case stepped aside after apologising for attending one of the reported gatherings.
Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has confirmed that police will investigate several suspected lockdown breaches. She previously stressed that the Met would not look into lockdown breaches retrospectively, but affirmed that any evidence would be examined.
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.
Dame Cressida told the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee this morning: “I can tell you this morning as a result firstly of the information provided by the Cabinet Office inquiry team and secondly by the officers own assessment, I can confirm that the Met is now investigating a number of events that took place at Downing Street and Whitehall in the last two years.
“My officers have assessed several other events that appear to have taken place at Downing Street and Whitehall on the available information these other events are assessed as not reaching the threshold for criminal investigation.”
“I should stress that we are now investigating does not mean fixed penalty notices will necessarily be issued in every instance and to every person involved.
“We will not be giving a running commentary on our current investigations but I can assure you we will give updates at significant points.”
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner has welcomed the investigation, confirmed earlier today.
“With Boris Johnson’s Downing Street now under police investigation, how on earth can he think he can stay on as Prime Minister?” she wrote.
The Liberal Democrats have said that Boris Johnson should be interviewed under caution, and given Fixed Penalty Notices for every time he is found to have breached Covid laws.
Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said: “This is the first step towards justice for millions across the country who have felt so much pain and anger at Boris Johnson’s behaviour.
“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.”