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Jan. 25, 2022, 6:02 a.m. EST

London police investigating Downing Street parties during lockdown

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By Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — London police said Tuesday they were investigating Downing Street parties during lockdown, putting further pressure on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick revealed that an investigation was underway in a statement before the London Assembly. Dick said that Scotland Yard is now investigating “a number of events” at Downing Street.

Johnson’s government has been under fire for allegedly holding events during months in which the nation was under lockdown because of COVID-19.

“The fact that we are now investigating does not, of course, mean that fixed penalty notices will necessarily be issued in every instance and to every person involved,” Dick said. “We will not be giving a running commentary on our current investigations.”

In the latest claim, ITV News reported that Johnson attended a birthday party in his Downing Street office and later hosted friends in his apartment upstairs in June 2020. His office denied it, saying that “in line with the rules at the time, the prime minister hosted a small number of family members outside that evening.”

The “partygate” allegations have infuriated many in Britain, who were barred from meeting with friends and family for months in 2020 and 2021 to curb the spread of COVID-19. They are being investigated by a senior civil servant,  Sue Gray , whose report, expected this week, will be a pivotal moment for the prime minister.

It wasn’t clear which events the police were investigating.

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