Disturbing the Peace

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London’s police will fine 20 people who attended lockdown-defying parties at Downing Street and Whitehall during the pandemic in 2020, the latest development in a scandal that prompted calls for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resignation, Axios reported Tuesday.

Police officials said those fined will have 28 days to pay or contest the charges. They did not name the recipients but added that those fined will only be named if they challenge the penalty.

The fines are related to the parties that took place at government offices, including Johnson’s Downing Street residence, during a strict coronavirus lockdown in May 2020.

Johnson apologized for attending at least one party even as the scandal caused widespread public outrage: The Conservative prime minister also faced calls to resign, including from members of his own party, over the gatherings.

Earlier this year, an investigation into the lockdown parties found there was a “serious failure” to observe the standards expected of government officials, and “failures of leadership and judgment.”

Three of Johnson’s top advisers quit in February as part of a backroom reshuffle aimed at resetting the prime minister’s relationship with a disgruntled Conservative Party, Politico noted.

Even so, the leadership challenge faded away following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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