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Investigation into Tory 'jingle and mingle' Event reopened by the Police

The Metropolitan Police has decided to reopen an inquiry into violations of Covid regulations at a Christmas gathering held at Conservative Party HQ. The Sunday Mirror released a video from the event, which featured aides being encouraged to "jingle and mingle." 


However, the police have stated that they will not investigate reported gatherings at the country residence of the former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, located at Chequers.


But they are also now investigating an event in Parliament on 8 December 2020.

According to the Guido Fawkes website, this event involved Conservative backbencher Sir Bernard Jenkin.


Sir Bernard sits on the Commons Privileges Committee, which published a highly critical report about Mr Johnson last month. He told the BBC it was not appropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation.


Mr Johnson - who stood down as an MP with a stinging attack on the committee - had accused Sir Bernard of "monstrous hypocrisy" if the allegations on the Guido Fawkes site were true.

Conservative MP Virginia Crosbie issued an apology for attending the event while Covid restrictions were in place.


Last year, the Metropolitan Police conducted an investigation into the December 2020 gathering at Tory HQ following the emergence of a photograph depicting former London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey and Conservative aides raising glasses near a buffet, during a period when indoor socialising was prohibited in the region.


In November, the Met announced that no additional actions would be taken against Mr. Bailey or the individuals captured in the picture. However, they have now declared their intention to reopen the inquiry since the video recently released by the Mirror had not been previously submitted to the authorities.


Mr Bailey - who was given a seat in the House of Lords in Mr Johnson's resignation honours list - previously said he apologised "unreservedly" for the event, which he said had "turned into something" after he left, in which he claimed he was "very upset about the video" as he had "never seen it before".


Meanwhile, the Met Police and Thames Valley Police said they would not launch an investigation into potential rule-breaking between June 2020 and May 2021 at Downing Street and Chequers.


In May, these law enforcement agencies stated that they were evaluating information provided to them by officials from the Cabinet Office, which included a review of Mr. Johnson's official diary, as part of the preparations for the Covid inquiry. Thames Valley Police specifically focused on investigating visits made by Mr. Johnson's family and friends to Chequers, the prime minister's country residence in Buckinghamshire, during the course of the pandemic.


The Met was looking at possible further rule breaches in Downing Street, and in a jointly-issued statement on Tuesday, the forces said that after "further clarification" on the diary entries, they had decided the events did "not meet the retrospective criteria for opening an investigation".


When news of his referral broke, Mr Johnson denied there had been any Covid breaches at the events, saying the actions of the Cabinet Office bore "all the hallmarks" of a "politically motivated stitch-up".


The former Prime Minister, Mr. Johnson, resigned as a Member of Parliament last month following accusations by a Commons committee that he had provided false information to Parliament regarding unrelated incidents at Downing Street during the pandemic.

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Tags: #politics #police #uk #christmas #tory #conservative


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