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Police close Tory lockdown party inquiry in parliament

  • Police inquiry on COVID breach.
  • Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing.
  • No penalties issued.

According to reports, Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing convened the December 2020 gathering to celebrate the birthdays of two Conservative politicians.

The Metropolitan Police have concluded their inquiry into the potential violation of COVID-19 regulations that occurred at a parliamentary gathering on December 8, 2020.

Eleanor Laing, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, reportedly organized the event to celebrate the birthdays of Virginia Crosby, a Conservative Member of Parliament, and Baroness Jenkin, the peer and spouse of Sir Bernard Jenkin, another Conservative MP.

However, the event occurred during a period of Tier 2 restrictions in London, which prohibited individuals from engaging in indoor social interactions with members of other households.

Following the Metropolitan Police’s ruling, it has come to light that the standards commissioner of parliament has initiated an inquiry into Sir Bernard on the grounds of “actions that caused substantial harm to the reputation of the House in its entirety, or of its members in general.”

In July, following the publication of details about the incident in the media, the force initiated an investigation, stating that it had “evaluated material” and was searching for “potential breaches.”

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However, on Friday, they issued a statement stating that, after reviewing the available information, the gathering “did not meet the requisite standard to warrant the referral of fixed penalty notices” and that no additional measures would be taken.

Additionally, the Metropolitan Police verified that their investigation into alleged violations of COVID regulations had reached its conclusion.

Throughout the pandemic, the force previously issued 126 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) for lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street and Whitehall, including to then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife.

Additionally, in October, authorities declared they would levy 24 sanctions on the “jingle and mingle” party that occurred at the Conservative headquarters on December 14, 2020. Shaun Bailey, the London mayoral candidate for the party and a former peer of Mr. Johnson, allegedly organized the party.

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