‘Partygate’ challenge against Met Police to be heard at High Court

Boris Johnson is pictured toasting departing Downing Street comms chief Lee Cain at a leaving party on November 13, 2020, that the prime minister told Parliament he never attended: the Metropolitan Police never fined him for attending this event. Why?

This is highly interesting!

The High Court will hear the first stage of a challenge against the Metropolitan Police over the force’s investigation into former prime minister Boris Johnson’s attendance at Number 10 parties during lockdown.

Mr Johnson received a fixed penalty notice (FPN) over a birthday party in the Cabinet Room in June 2020, but faced no further action over other gatherings covered by the Met’s Operation Hillman inquiry into events in No 10 and Whitehall.

Legal campaign group the Good Law Project (GLP) has launched a legal challenge, alongside former deputy assistant commissioner of the Met Lord Paddick, against the force over its investigation.

The GLP says the Met failed to send questionnaires to Mr Johnson, and has since failed to explain why, or how the force concluded his attendance at other events was lawful.

The group will ask Mr Justice Swift to grant permission for a judicial review of the Met’s handling of the investigation at a hearing in London at 10.30am on Wednesday.

It seems the issue is why Boris Johnson (and others?) seem to have avoided being penalised for attending other parties, besides those for which they have been fined:

Jo Maugham, GLP director, said: “We can’t understand – and the Met won’t disclose – how Boris Johnson dodged fines for going to parties that junior civil servants were fined for attending.

“But what it looks like is special treatment for the powerful.”

I’m hoping a judicial review is granted, and can happen before the Partygate inquiry takes place. I wonder how any decision here would impact on what happens there?

Source: First stage of ‘partygate’ challenge against Met Police to be heard at High Court | Evening Standard

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