Home Business News Former DPP warns Boris the shindig at No.10 was ‘unlawful and those attending it were committing’ a criminal offence

Former DPP warns Boris the shindig at No.10 was ‘unlawful and those attending it were committing’ a criminal offence

by Mark Fitt Political Journalist
13th Jan 22 11:15 am

The former director of public prosecutions has warned the Prime Minister that the party he admitted to attending was “unlawful” and those who attended had committed “an offence.”

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven said the 20 May 2020 garden jamboree hosted at Downing Street was “almost certainly unlawful.”

On Wednesday the Prime Minister admitted that he attended that shindig for 25 minutes to thank staff and claimed that he did not know it was a party.

Lord Macdonald said it is “difficult to see” how any police investigation can clear Boris Johnson of committing a criminal offence or “at the very least an accessory” to an illegal jamboree in his own garden.

This comes as there have been many calls for Scotland Yard to investigate the Prime Minister and Sir Ed Davey the leader of the Liberal Democrats has called for a full investigation.

Sir Ed wrote to Dame Cressida Dick the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to interview the Prime Minister under caution after admitting he was at the Downing Street garden party.

The Met Police Commissioner, Dame Cressida’s predecessor, Sir Paul Stephenson said on Wednesday that her force will eventually have “little choice” but to investigate.

Another retired police chief also warned that the Met Police “must act” now over the jamboree in the Downing Street garden.

Lord Macdonald declared that Johnson appears to be guilty of committing a criminal offence and was the director of public prosecutions from 2003 to 2008.

Lord Macdonald said, “This party was almost certainly unlawful and those attending it were committing an offence.

“From 22 April 2020, being outside your home without a reasonable excuse was a crime. Going to work where absolutely necessary amounted to a reasonable excuse, attending a large drinks party obviously did not.

“It is difficult to see how any police investigation could come to a different conclusion.

“This was an illegal gathering in the Prime Minister’s own garden.

“The fact that it arguably took place in his own home does not provide Mr Johnson with a defence.

“He must have agreed to the invitations going out and at the very least this made him an accessory.”

Furthermore Carrie Johnson could also be an accessory as witnesses have reported that she was with her husband the Prime Minister at the shindig on 20 May 2020.

Police detectives are already speaking with the Cabinet Office “in light of widespread reporting relating to alleged breaches of regulations at Downing Street.”

Ex-Met Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson said, “I suspect they [the police] will have little choice [but to investigate].

“As always I prefer the police to be doing things like investigating violence and drugs on our streets but I suspect on this that there is little choice.

“Given the expressions of outrage, there will be an investigation.”

A former chief constable added, “By now I’d expect Cressida to say she’ll be doing something because of the huge public interest.

“The Met’s argument that there was nothing to investigate around alleged retrospective breaches won’t satisfy the public, who have seen others fined under lockdown rules.

“I think there is now clear prima facie evidence of invitations being sent to 100 people and the Allegra Stratton video from December.

“The Commissioner must act.”

Sir Hugh Orde, a former president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, told The Times, “The latest revelations provide evidence that there is evidence, if the police choose to look for it. That’s a matter for them.

“There’s certainly an issue of public confidence.”

Stephen Watson, Greater Manchester’s current chief constable, said, “It’s really important that adherence to legislation is uniformly observed and properly enforced.”

Sir Peter Fahy, former chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, said there were questions for police on duty at the time, added, “They were monitoring who was going in and out. Did they realise this might not be quite right?

“Was it raised as a concern? On the other side of that big gate, other officers are stopping people on the street and fining them for Covid breaches.”

A Met spokesman said, “The Metropolitan Police Service is aware of widespread reporting relating to alleged breaches of the Health Protection Regulations at Downing Street on May 20, 2020 and is in contact with the Cabinet Office.”

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