London police accused of ‘stitching’ for refusing to probe parties in Downing St

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick was accused of presiding over an “establishment stitch” on Friday when London forces refused to investigate Downing Street into lockdown parties.

The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Ed Davey, urges Dick not to let UK prime minister Boris Johnson “side out” because No 10 is forced make an apology to Queen Elizabeth for two staff parties last April, held on the eve of the funeral of her husband, Prince Philip. The monarch sat alone during the ceremony in compliance with Covid-19 regulations at the time.

Davey said it was “clear to everyone” that Johnson had broken the law on the lockdown: earlier this week, the prime minister offer partially apologized to parliament after admitting he attended a “bring your own wine” party at Number 10 during the lockdown in May 2020.

“Cressida Dick mustn’t leave him trapped in a shady establishment sewn up,” he said. “The Met commissioner may think it’s one rule for Boris Johnson and another for everyone else, but that doesn’t make it right.”

The Met responded to questions by reiterating its previous position that it has contact with the Cabinet Office, which is conduct an investigation into parties led by senior civil servant Sue Gray. The force said if that investigation produced any other evidence, it will check it.

Jamie Klingler, from Reclaim These Streets, near the stand in London where police broke up vigils for Sarah Everard last year

Jamie Klingler, from Reclaim These Streets, near the hall in London where police for Sarah Everard busted the police last year © Aaron Chown/PA

Asked about reports that staff had brought a suitcase full of alcohol into Downing Street for one of the parties last April and whether officers were aware, the force said it had not discussed it. the arrangement of security guards at government buildings.

Dal Babu, a former senior Met officer who carried out security duties at Downing Street earlier in his career, said the force had found itself in a “real quagmire” in the face of apparent breaches. clear.

“I think the police decided not to investigate in the first place,” said Babu, referring to when the first reports of Downing Street parties violating lockdown regulations emerged in November. .

A protester is arrested by Met officers at last year's vigil for murder victim Sarah Everard

A protester is arrested by Met officers at last year’s vigil for murder victim Sarah Everard © IKristian Buus / In Pictures / Getty Images

This position made Jamie Klingler, the organizer of a Claim these streets vigil last year at Clapham Common in London. The event was disrupted by the Met, which made four arrests, as the force said it violated coronavirus restrictions.

The vigil took place on 13 March last year, a month before the Downing Street parties on 16 April, and was held in memory of Sarah Everard, who was kidnapped, raped, and murdered by Wayne Couzens, a Met officer serving at the time.

“Anger and rage don’t begin to convey my feelings at the hypocrisy of the Met, who don’t serve London women,” Klingler said.

The Met has refused to investigate reports by at least six separate parties in Downing Street – one in May 2020, two in November 2020, one in December 2020 and two last April – with common sense would not investigate coronavirus rule violations retroactively.

The force was under close supervision about its culture and attitudes after Everard’s murder and a series of botched investigations.

Kieron McArdle

Kieron McArdle, who was fined for a lockdown breach last year, said he was ‘angry and frustrated’ about the Met’s stance © Sky News

Kieron McArdle, who was fined last March after two friends who surprised him on his birthday came to drink with him in his garden, said he was also “angry and disappointed” about his stance. Met.

McArdle and his friends each face a £200 fine, reduced to £100 each for expedited payment, in the incident, in Coleshill, Warwickshire.

McArdle said he and his friends accepted what they did was wrong, paid the fine and thought nothing more of the matter until revelations about Downing Street parties began to emerge.

“The Met Police are basically opening the door for them and bringing them drink trays,” McArdle said. “They’re absolutely in it like the politicians.”

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