Katy Balls Katy Balls

Will there be another partygate investigation?

Any hope Rishi Sunak had to use Boris Johnson’s resignation to turn the page on partygate is dwindling fast. The Prime Minister is likely to miss the debate on the Privileges Committee report this afternoon and the hope in government is that a vote isn’t even called. But even if ministers get their wish, the story could remain in the news for some time. Over the weekend, new footage emerged of staff who worked for the London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey partying in 2020 despite strict Covid rules at the time. It went on to dominate the Sunday politics shows.

Other reports the police are thought to be looking into include allegations that Bernard Jenkin attended a drinks event in the House of Commons, despite Covid rules as well as information found in Johnson’s diary

Now the Metropolitan Police has confirmed that they are in the process of assessing new partygate allegations over gatherings at Downing Street, Chequers, parliament and the Conservative party headquarters. The new evidence relates not just to the Bailey team video – though on that story new details are emerging today about the event, with the BBC reporting that official invites were sent out to the event, dubbed a ‘jingle and mingle’ holiday party. Other reports the police are thought to be looking into include allegations that Bernard Jenkin attended a drinks event in the House of Commons, despite Covid rules as well as information found in Johnson’s diary. The diary was handed to the policy by the Cabinet Office after officials found that some of the details regarding meetings could suggest further Covid breaches by Johnson.

A spokesperson for Scotland Yard said: ‘A number of other events have subsequently been referred to us which we are in the process of assessing.’ If the police do decide to launch an official investigation, that combined with the ongoing Covid inquiry (expected to run well past the next election) will mean that the scandal drags on for some time to come even though the privileges committee inquiry has now ended.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.

Or

Unlock more articles

REGISTER

Comments

Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in