Metropolitan Police complete Partygate probe with fines of 126 people
Boris Johnson drinking at a party in Downing Street, held during a coronavirus lockdown, newly released photo show.
The four images obtained by ITV News appear to show the Prime Minister raising a glass at a farewell party for his then Communications Director Lee Cain on November 13, 2020.
A number of people stand together around a table with party food and booze, despite the rest of the country being banned from socializing at the time during the height of the pandemic.
Earlier, Dominic Cummings – Mr Johnson’s former senior adviser – claimed that photos would emerge within the next 24 to 48 hours showing the Prime Minister had “blatantly lied” to the police and the House of Commons about parties at Downing Street .
Mr Cummings predicted images of warring factions would be released within No 10 before senior official Sue Gray’s official Partygate report is finally released this week.
After the pictures were released, Labor Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said Mr Johnson had “reduced his office” and “there is no doubt now.” [that] he has lied.”
“No doubt about it,” PM – Rayner lied as a new Partygate photo emerged
Angela Rayner has accused Boris Johnson of undoubtedly lying about the Downing Street lockdown busting parties.
Her comments came as new photos emerged showing the Prime Minister raising a glass at one of the gatherings.
The deputy Labor leader said: “While the British public was making enormous sacrifices, Boris Johnson broke the law.
“Boris Johnson has said repeatedly that he knew nothing of any violations of the law – there is no doubt about it now, he lied. Boris Johnson made the rules and then broke them.
“The prime minister has reduced his position. The British people deserve better. While Labor has a plan to deal with the cost of living crisis, Tory MPs are too busy defending Boris Johnson’s untenable actions.”
Lamiat SabinMay 23, 2022 5:40 p.m
Education minister condemns “identity politics” in schools
Children should be taught how to think, not what to think, Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi said.
His comments came as Tory MP Julian Lewis was urging him to agree that “malicious identity politics and the decolonization of subjects” were akin to subjects being banned from classrooms because they were politically partisan.
In the House of Commons, Mr Lewis said: “Does the Secretary of State accept that the concepts of anti-nuclear education and anti-imperialist education which led to this ban must be compared equally with the concepts of malign identity politics and the decolonization of subjects, rightly in conflict with the legislation he quotes?”
In response, Mr. Zahawi said, “My esteemed friend raises a very important point. He’s right. Children should be taught how to think, not what to think.”
He also said that no one should be afraid to “express lawful views” at universities as he supported the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act – which aims to protect expression on campus.
“Universities and students must balance their legal obligations, including freedom of speech and countering harassment,” Mr Zahawi told MPs.
Lamiat SabinMay 23, 2022 5:21 p.m
PM to address MPs ‘fully’ about new Partygate photo
Boris Johnson will address Parliament “in full”, Downing Street has said in response to photos showing the Prime Minister raising a glass during a lockdown busting party at No 10.
A No. 10 spokesman said: “The Met Cabinet office and police had access to all information relevant to their investigation, including photographs.
“The Met has completed its investigation and Sue Gray will publish her report in the coming days, after which the Prime Minister will address Parliament in full.”
Lamiat SabinMay 23, 2022 4:50 p.m
Labor opposes Troubles amnesty legislation
The government has failed to secure cross-party support for its key proposals for the Northern Ireland peace process.
Labor sources said the party will oppose plans, which include a controversial amnesty for those accused of atrocities during the riots, at the second reading of the bill on Tuesday.
Our Whitehall Editor Kate Devlin has the whole story:
Chiara GiordanoMay 23, 2022 4:30 p.m
A photo has surfaced of Boris Johnson raising a glass at party #10
Pictures have emerged showing Boris Johnson drinking at a party in Downing Street during coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
The four images obtained by ITV News reportedly show the Prime Minister raising a glass at a farewell party for then Communications Director Lee Cain on November 13, 2020.
Several people can stand close together around a table filled with party food and alcohol.
Chiara GiordanoMay 23, 2022 4:19 p.m
No plans for cobra meetings or travel bans amid monkeypox outbreak, Downing Street says
Downing Street said there were no plans to hold a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee over monkeypox or impose travel bans.
When asked about travel restrictions from affected countries, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “No, no considerations of that nature. What we are seeing at the moment is a non-travel related community transmission.”
He said vaccines would be offered to close contacts, but had no plans for a “major” vaccination program.
“We have sourced vaccines in significant numbers, but given the nature and the way we know they are spreading, it is understood that this is not a clinical requirement for this type of large-scale campaign,” he said.
Chiara GiordanoMay 23, 2022 4:05 p.m
Dominic Cummings claims photos prove Boris Johnson lied about Partygate
Photos will emerge in the next two days showing that Boris Johnson “blatantly lied” to the police and the House of Commons about the Downing Street parties, the Prime Minister’s former top adviser Dominic Cummings has claimed.
Mr Cummings predicted images of factions involved in fighting within No 10 would be released when senior official Sue Gray’s official report was finally released.
Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has the whole story:
Chiara GiordanoMay 23, 2022 3:25 p.m
The UK agrees to a joint declaration with Lithuania to deepen defense and trade ties
The UK and Lithuania have signed a joint statement aimed at building on bilateral defense and trade ties, the Foreign Office has announced.
Ministers from NATO allies today drafted the agreement to celebrate 100 years of bilateral relations between Britain and the eastern European nation, a move prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Lithuania borders Belarus, a country whose President Alexander Lukashenko has developed close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The foreign minister, speaking at the signing of the joint statement, commended Lithuania for standing up to Russia – comments that follow exposing Vilnius for defying China’s “coercion”.
Liz Truss, in a speech at the Mansion House last month, singled out Lithuania as a country that Beijing had tried to bully economically.
The Cabinet Minister said: “The UK and Lithuania are two countries that believe in freedom and sovereignty and stand up against authoritarian regimes in Europe and around the world.
“We stand with Ukraine in the face of the illegal, barbaric war in Russia.
“I have great admiration and respect for Lithuania and am pleased that today we are deepening our defense and security ties and creating greater opportunities for trade and investment through this joint statement.”
Chiara GiordanoMay 23, 2022 3:10 p.m
US delegation warns UK government against unilateral lifting of Northern Ireland Protocol ‘won’t work’
A delegation of politicians from the United States has warned the UK government that unilaterally repealing the Northern Ireland Protocol “won’t work”.
Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee urged Secretary of State Liz Truss to begin face-to-face negotiations with Brussels to resolve the outstanding issues.
It comes as the bipartisan delegation from the US Congress is due to meet Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin in Dublin on Monday.
Sinn Fein CEO Mary Lou McDonald will also meet with the group.
Mr Kildee met Ms Truss over the weekend.
“It is important, and we stress it, that the (UK Government) negotiate and not take unilateral action,” he told RTE Morning Ireland.
“I think that was the very first point that our delegation pushed for, especially Richie Neal.
“The only way we can come to an agreement, the only way we can protect the incredible progress represented by the Good Friday Agreement, is through face-to-face negotiations.
“It is disappointing to see unilateral action being considered. We emphasized that this wasn’t the approach we recommended, but again, it’s difficult to pinpoint their motivation.
“We don’t think this is the right way. We believe that unilateral solutions will not work, personal negotiations to resolve some of these technical issues can be achieved and that is what we currently recommend.”
Chiara GiordanoMay 23, 2022 2:54 p.m
Everything we know about Boris Johnson’s alleged Downing Street lockdown parties
my colleague Joe Sommerlad has compiled this statement on everything we know about Boris Johnson’s alleged lockdown parties at Downing Street following the conclusion of the Metropolitan Police investigation which has resulted in 126 fines.
Chiara GiordanoMay 23, 2022 2:34 p.m
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/sue-gray-report-latest-boris-johnson-b2085309.html Boris Johnson new: New Partygate photo shows PM toasting colleagues – live