July 2, 2022

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Any Carrie fine over Partygate should be made public, says Keir Starmer

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The public should be told if Boris Johnson’s wife Carrie is issued with a fine for lockdown-breaching parties in Downing Street, Sir Keir Starmer has said.

No 10 insists that it will reveal details of fixed penalty notices only if they are handed out to the prime minister himself or the head of the civil service Simon Case.

There is no obligation on ministers, officials or members of Mr Johnson’s family to declare that they have received a penalty, and the police have made clear that they will not publicise names of those found to have broken Covid laws.

Ms Johnson is alleged to have hosted a surprise party in No 10 for the PM’s 56th birthday in June 2020, and to have gathered with friends in the couple’s flat above No 11 that November to celebrate the resignation of aide Dominic Cummings by singing Abba songs.

Labour leader Starmer said his focus was “laser-like” on the question of whether the prime minister himself breached coronavirus restrictions which he had imposed on the rest of the country.

But he said that the public had a right also to know whether the PM’s wife had stuck to the rules.

Starmer did not mention Partygate during the launch of Labour’s local election campaign in Bury, where he focused on the cost-of-living crisis.

But speaking to broadcasters later, he said: “If Carrie Johnson gets a fixed penalty notice, then of course it should be made public.

“My focus is on the prime minister because he is the one who sets the culture, he is the one who oversaw this criminality at his home and his office, he is the one that came to arliament and said all rules were complied with, which is clearly not the case.

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“So I do think Carrie Johnson should be named if she gets a penalty notice, but my focus is laser-like on the prime minister.”

Neither Mr nor Mrs Johnson are thought to be among the individuals referred for fixed penalty notices by the Metropolitan Police earlier this week, after they determined that 20 breaches merited punishment.

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