‘Baffling!’ Blackford told to ‘get a life’ after taking swipe at Boris over Partygate pics

Partygate photo leak will finish Johnson claims Chris Bryant

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Earlier today, ITV revealed it had obtained pictures of the Prime Minister holding a glass in what it said was the leaving drinks for Lee Cain, Number 10’s former director of communications, on November 13, 2020. It comes after the Metropolitan Police announced last week it had concluded its investigations into alleged lockdown breaches in Downing Street and Whitehall after serving a total of 126 fixed penalty notices.

The closing of the police investigation now opens the door for Sue Gray’s report into the Partygate claims, which is expected to be released this week.

Mr Johnson met with Ms Gray to discuss the “timings and publication process”, Downing Street said, after reports of the meeting came to light.

Today (Monday), a spokesperson for the Prime Minister told the BBC the Cabinet Office and the police had had access to information, including photographs.

They added that with the Met Police’s investigation over, the Sue Gray report would be released “in the coming days, at which point the Prime Minister will address Parliament in full”.

At least one person who attended the event has reportedly been fined, though Mr Johnson himself was not.

However, the fresh photos cast doubt on Mr Johnson’s claims that he was unaware of rule-breaking taking place in Downing Street during coronavirus lockdowns.

When he apologised for attending a gathering last month, after being issued a fixed penalty notice by the Met, he claimed “it did not occur to me then or subsequently that a gathering in the cabinet room, just before a vital meeting on Covid strategy, could amount to a breach of the rules”.

Reacting to the latest images to come out of the Partygate saga, Mr Blackford, the SNP’s leader in Westminster, tweeted: “As can be seen in one picture, Boris Johnson raising a glass for what looks like a toast.

“If this was not a party I do not know what is.”

He accused Mr Johnson of being “a charlatan and a liar”, adding: “He must go.”

However, Britons weary of the scandal and the political mud-slinging wasted no time calling the Scottish nationalist politician out.

@flyingpheasant responded: “Honestly, move on. There are more important things to worry about.”

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Meanwhile, @APBfinished said it was “absolutely baffling [that] the SNP can comment or criticise any other party” when they “cannot lead by example”.

This may be a reference to police speaking to SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon in April after she was filmed breaching Scotland’s rules at the time on face masks.

@FaePest said: “I think we are getting to the stage where we need to move on from this.

“Far more important issues [are] going on in the world at the moment, and not one political party is even close to resolving any of these matters.

Partygate: PM says ‘rules were followed at all times’ in December

“Remember Partygate offences are not recorded as criminal convictions.”

A fixed penalty notice is not a criminal conviction, but records can be held on the police national database for six years from the matter being considered closed.

@stevog1184 said: “Nobody cares, Ian, you’ve dragged this out for too long.

“At least Boris [Johnson] is dealing with more important matters at hand.”

And @JimkirkyJim commented: “NHS in Scotland is devolved, it’s one area that they can’t play grievance politics.”

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