PM accused of “rank hypocrisy” as figures over 70,000 people have been fined for lockdown parties

The Liberal Democrats have slammed Boris Johnson’s “rank hypocrisy” on the Number 10 Christmas party, after it emerged over 70,000 people have been fined by police for gatherings banned under lockdown rules.

Figures from the National Police Chiefs’ Council reveal 74,354 Fixed Penalty Notices were handed out for illegal gatherings under the various Covid regulations between March 2019 and the end of restrictions in July 2021. These were typically fines of £200, meaning people would have been fined around £15 million for holding illegal gatherings during the pandemic.

4,321 of those Fixed Penalty Notices were for gatherings that breached the Tier 3 rules, which applied to the whole of London when the Number 10 Christmas party took place last December.

A total of 2,296 fines were handed out for all lockdown breaches – including gatherings – by West Mercia Police who cover Shropshire, where the Conservatives are facing a strong challenge from the Liberal Democrats in the upcoming North Shropshire by-election.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael commented: “These figures expose the rank hypocrisy at the heart of Downing Street.

Alistair Carmichael MP

“Ordinary people faced fines for holding parties that broke lockdown rules last December, while Boris Johnson and his Number 10 colleagues seem to have got off scot free.

“It shows again that for the Conservatives, it’s one rule for you, no rules for them.

“Boris Johnson must apologise to the British people and explain why he seems to think he is above the law.

“The current game of smoke and mirrors from Number 10 isn’t good enough. The public deserve to know exactly what happened at last year’s Christmas party, whether any rules were broken and if so what the punishment will be.”

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