May 19, 2022

Growing calls for cost of living rescue measures as CBI tells Sunak to ‘help the hardest hit now’

The full Sue Gray report is now expected to be published next week, my colleague Peter Walker reports.

Sue Gray report likely to come next week, officials brief. Clear your diaries.

— Peter Walker (@peterwalker99) May 19, 2022

A reminder: No 10 decreed that this would be “crime week” in its news grid, and at cabinet on Tuesday Boris Johnson delivered a mini lecture about how the government was committed to tackling crime. “Crime, crime, crime is what we want to focus on,” he said, according to the readout issued by Downing Street.

From the Daily Mirror’s Pippa Crerar

NEW: No 10 sources say Boris Johnson has not received another fine “at this stage” – and suggest it can take a couple of days for FPNs to come through.

PM has only received one so far – for 19 June 2020 bday event – though was present at six of 12 under investigation.

— Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) May 19, 2022

The full Sue Gray report is now expected to be published next week, my colleague Peter Walker reports.

Sue Gray report likely to come next week, officials brief. Clear your diaries.

— Peter Walker (@peterwalker99) May 19, 2022

Here are the main things we’ve learnt about the Metropolitan police’s Partygate investigation (officially known as Operation Hillman) from today’s statement.

  • A total of 126 fines were issued, or are in the process of being issued, the Met says. (The statement implies some of the most recent fixed-penalty notices may not hae been received yet by the recipients). But it says some people were fined more than once, and so the total number of individuals fined will be lower.
  • Men received 53 of the fines, and women received 73, the Met says.
  • The offences were committed on eight dates. The original Sue Gray report (or “Update”, as it was called) said 12 events were being investigated by the police. But those 12 events took place on eight different days (on some days two or three lockdown-busting events took place). The Met statement does not say whether or not offences were committed at all 12 events.
  • Twelve detectives worked on the investigation. They looked at 345 documents, including emails, door logs, diary entries and witness statements, 510 photographs and CCTV images and 204 questionnaires. There is more detail about how they ran the investigation in the statement.
  • No one was interviewed under caution as part of the inquiry.
  • The inquiry cost £460,000.
  • People were fined in relation to one or more of six offences. They were:

20 May 2020 – Regulation 6 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 – Restriction on leaving, or being outside of, the place where you were living without reasonable excuse.

18 and 19 June 2020 – Regulation 7 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 – Restriction on participating in an indoor gathering consisting of two or more people.

13 November 2020 – Regulation 8 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 – Restriction on participating in an indoor gathering consisting of two or more people.

17 and 18 December 2020 – Paragraph 1 of Schedule 3 to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations 2020 – Restriction on participating in an indoor gathering in the Tier 3 area consisting of two or more people.

14 January 2021 – Paragraph 3 of Schedule 3A to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations 2020 – Restriction on participating in an indoor gathering in the Tier 4 area consisting of two or more people.

16 April 2021 – Paragraph 2 of Schedule 2 to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021 – Restriction on participating in an outdoor gathering in the Step 2 area consisting of more than six people.

  • There were 16,796 fines in total issued by the Met for lockdown breaches, which means the Partygate ones amounted to less than 1% of the total.

The Met has been giving out more information about the investigation. These are from the Telegraph’s Martin Evans.

28 people have received between two and five FPNs

— Martin Evans (@evansma) May 19, 2022

28 people have received between two and five FPNs

— Martin Evans (@evansma) May 19, 2022

Boris Johnson has still only received one fine over Partygate (the one we were told about in April), the BBC’s Chris Mason reports.

The Prime Minister has not been notified of any additional Fixed Penalty Notices, I’m told — but the police statement acknowledges some have not yet been sent out to those who’ll receive themhttps://t.co/0Zso16jdyT

— Chris Mason (@ChrisMasonBBC) May 19, 2022

Until now the Met has said little about how it has carried out its Partygate investigation. But today’s statement is far more extensive than its previous statements on the inquiry (which have tended to run to just a sentences), and it sheds quite a lot of light on what has been going on. I will post a summary soon.

This is from Helen Ball, acting deputy commissioner at the Metropolitan police, on the conclusion of the Partygate investigation.

There is no doubt that the pandemic impacted all of us in so many ways and strong feelings and opinions have been expressed on this particular issue.

When Covid regulations were introduced, the Met was clear that whilst we would not routinely investigate breaches of regulations retrospectively, there may be occasions when it would be appropriate to do so.

The information that we received with regard to the alleged breaches in Downing Street and Whitehall was sufficient to reach our criteria to begin such an investigation.

Our investigation was thorough and impartial and was completed as quickly as we could, given the amount of information that needed to be reviewed and the importance of ensuring that we had strong evidence for each FPN referral.

This investigation is now complete.

With the Met investigation now closed, the government will now have to publish the full Sue Gray report into what happened. This is expected to be damning because it will contain detail about what actually happened at the No 10 parties. The Met has said almost nothing about what took place, beyond confirming that lockdown rules were broken.

The Metropolitan police has a major Partygate announcement.

  • A total of 126 fines have now been issued in connection with Partygate, it says.
  • The Met says it has now closed the investigation.

As of yesterday No 10 were telling journalists that Boris Johnson had not received a further fine. Unless we get a confirmation very soon that there has been a second one, this means that Johnson will have got through this with just one fine.

The Met says:

Of the referrals, all resulted or will do so in a FPN being issued. The breakdown of recipients is, 53 were men and 73 were women. Some people received more than one FPN.

We will not be releasing or confirming the identity of anyone involved in this investigation or providing further details of our findings, in line with the approach we’ve taken throughout the pandemic.

The full Met statement is here.

Q: So down the line some Channel 4 content could be paid for by subscription?

Dorries says that won’t happen while it remains a public sector broadcaster.

Julian Knight (Con), the committee chair, is taking over now.

Q: Should a privatised Channel 4 consider a subscription model, perhaps with the BBC?

Dorries says that is a matter for whoever buys it.

But she says privatisation is definitely happening. She says the media bill allowing this is coming soon. And Channel 4 will have to carry on making distinctive British content, she says.

Nicolson says a lot of Tories think Channel 4 is being privatised for political reasons, and because Channel 4 News is deemed hostile to the Tories.

Dorries says she is not responsible for what her colleagues say.

She says the government cannot allow Channel 4 to borrow to invest, because the taxpayer would be liable for those debts.

Q: It is making record profits.

That means it would be a good time to sell, says Dorries.

She says the government will receive a “creative dividend” from the sale that it can invest in the production sector.

Q: Channel 4 is the country’s biggest free streaming service. Can you guarantee that it will not move to a subscription model?

Dorries says Channel 4 is a public service broadcaster and this will continue. It will be part of the sale condition.

Q: For how long?

Dorries says she will not discuss that.

Nicolson says that means she is not guaranteeing that, over the long term, it will not move to a subscription model.

Dorries says Channel 4 will have to continue to make distinctive programmes. She cites Derry Girl as an example.

Q: What percentage of the 56,000 responses to your consultation supported privatisation?

Dorries says 46,000 of those respondents were from 38 Degrees, a politcally motivated campaign group. She accuses them of rewriting the consultation language to distort what it was saying.

She says polling shows that 53% of people did not realise that Channel 4 was state owned.

Nicolson says 96% of those who responded to the consultation opposed privatisation.

Dorries goes back to an earlier question. She says the terms of sale will maintain Channel 4 as a public service organistion for 10 years.

Prev Post

After elections in Lebanon, does political change stand a chance?

Next Post

With a lack of Orlando Gudes coverage, is the Tampa…

post-bars
Mail Icon

Newsletter

Get Every Weekly Update & Insights


Notice: Undefined variable: mailchimp_shortcode in /homepages/28/d498233257/htdocs/clickandbuilds/TheDailyElevatedNews/wp-content/themes/binduz/template-parts/blog/post-parts/part-mailchimp.php on line 35
[mc4wp_form id=]