Boris Johnson’s wife allegedly threw Mr Johnson a birthday bash in the first lockdown – and tonight she paid a £50 fine over the party on 19 June 2020 where the PM was presented with a cake
Carrie Johnson tonight paid a £50 Partygate fine from police and “apologised unreservedly” after months of stonewalling questions about her record.
The Prime Minister’s wife has been fined as part of the Met Police investigation into Downing Street lockdown parties, along with Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
It’s understood she was issued a £100 fine, halved if paid within 14 days, over a birthday party for her husband in the Cabinet room on 19 June 2020 – while indoor gatherings were banned.
A spokesperson for Mrs Johnson said: “Mrs Johnson has paid a Fixed Penalty Notice relating to a gathering on the afternoon of 19 June 2020.
“Whilst she believed that she was acting in accordance with the rules at the time, Mrs Johnson accepts the Metropolitan Police’s findings and apologises unreservedly.”
She had previously vehemently denied breaking the rules. She specifically denied a separate party in the Downing Street flat, to which today’s fine was unrelated.
Last year a spokeswoman for Mrs Johnson told the Mirror it was “total nonsense” she had held any parties in the Downing Street flat, adding: “Mrs Johnson has followed Covid rules at all times and it is categorically untrue to suggest otherwise.”
However, she also attended the PM’s birthday bash held in No10’s cabinet room, and the cheese and wine party held in the No10 garden in May 2020.
Police have chosen not to name those facing fines, citing traditional practices when dealing with out-of-court matters such as speeding fines.
For the PM’s 56th birthday party, Mrs Johnson apparently organised a boozy bash during the first lockdown for Mr Johnson – with the likes of Lulu Lytle, the Johnson’s interior designer, invited.
A spokesperson for Ms Lytle said she was working on the refurbishment of Johnson’s flat, adding: “Lulu was not invited to any birthday celebrations for the prime minister as a guest.
“Lulu entered the cabinet room briefly as requested, while waiting to speak with the prime minister.”
No10 staff apparently sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and stayed for around 20-30 minutes in the cabinet room to help the PM celebrate. Mr Johnson was there for 10 minutes.
Labour had been calling for Mrs Johnson to be named if she received a fine over Partygate.
Keir Starmer had said he did not wish to “personally attack” Mrs Johnson but said the Labour leader said the idea that those in Number 10 who had made the rules could keep it secret if they had broken them – to protect their privacy – was “utterly unacceptable”.
This afternoon, Mr Starmer called for Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak to resign for “repeatedly lying” as more than 30 fines were issued by the force.
It brings the number of confirmed Covid breaches to more than 50.
Since the first Partygate fines were issued around two weeks ago, the PM has refused to accept they show the Covid rules he set were broken in Downing Street.