Politics

U-turn: No.10 will tell the public if Boris Johnson receives a Covid fine

MPS and the public will be told if Boris Johnson receives a Covid fine.

Downing Street u-turned on its position from this morning after opposition politicians claimed the Prime Minister was attempting to cover up criminality.

Initially No.10 said refused to say if it would name anyone who may be fined in relation to the Metropolitan police probe into gatherings and parties in Downing Street.

However a spokesman this afternoon said “hypothetically” it would be revealed if the Prime Minister received such a penalty.

Speaking this afternoon, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “Obviously there is a significant public interest regarding the PM and we’ll always look to provide what updates we can on him specifically.”

Asked if that meant No.10 would say if he was issued with a fixed penalty notice, the spokesman said: “Hypothetically, yes.”

The Met said it would not normally name individuals who receive fines, if they decide to issue any, in line with its guidance.

Opposition parties claimed the Met’s silence and Downing Street’s non-committal response, meant the public may never find out if Boris Johnson had broken the law.

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey said the move “stinks of a cover-up”.

He said: “Even Richard Nixon believed a country deserves to know whether their leader is a crook.

“Boris Johnson must come clean with the public and resign if he’s broken the rules and been fined by the police. We cannot allow justice delayed to become justice denied.”

Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, said the public had a “right to know if the Prime Minister is found to have committed an offence by the police.”

She added: “ Boris Johnson said he would publish the full report of the investigation conducted by Sue Gray into his behaviour.

“He cannot be allowed to backtrack or hide the results of the police investigation.”

Despite the pledge to reveal whether the Prime Minister receives a fine, No.10 did not confirm whether they would do the same for other individuals, for example others living in Mr Johnson’s household, his senior staff or civil servants.

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