Downing Street has been accused of “rank hypocrisy” over the number of fines handed out to people who broke lockdown rules last year – whilst a party is said to have been held at Number 10.
It comes after Allegra Stratton, the Prime Minister’s former spokesperson, resigned on Wednesday over a leaked video which showed her joking with aides about a ‘fictitious’ party.
The Liberal Democrats have pointed to figures indicating that over 70,000 people had been fined by police for gatherings banned under lockdown restrictions, as they suggested it is one rule for the British people and no rules for the Conservatives.
Statistics published by the National Police Chiefs’ Council reveal that 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.
Of those Fixed Penalty Notices, 4321 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.
Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said the Prime Minister and Downing Street colleagues appear to have gotten off “scot free” over the party controversy.
“These figures expose the rank hypocrisy at the heart of Downing Street,” said the Orkney and Shetland 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.”
Carmichael added: “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.”