Sadiq Khan accused of political meddling as London mayor prompts Tory fury by demanding Met Police boss gives ‘detailed explanation’ of Scotland Yard decisions over Partygate
London mayor Sadiq Khan today sparked a backlash as he demanded the Metropolitan Police deliver a ‘detailed explanation’ of their Partygate decisions.
Mr Khan asked the force’s interim Commissioner to explain ‘the factors which were taken into account’ by Scotland Yard officers when deciding whether to take action over Coronavirus rule-breaking in Number 10.
His actions prompted Tory fury and angry accusations of political meddling by the mayor in police activities.
Mr Khan’s intervention comes after the publication of photos yesterday showing Boris Johnson boozing with others in Downing Street in November 2020 – a time when indoor social gatherings were banned.
The Prime Minister has not been punished over the bash, which is said to have been a leaving do for his outgoing director of communications Lee Cain.
This is despite the Met Police having confirmed the event was among those Partygate gatherings for which fines have been issued.
Scotland Yard has refused to say how many fines were issued over the event or who received them.
The release of the photos has fuelled questions about how Mr Johnson – who was pictured apparently toasting Mr Cain – escaped without a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) over the 13 November party.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has already been urged to launch an investigation into why the PM wasn’t fined for his attendance.
Sadiq Khan inserted himself into the row over Covid lockdown breaches in Downing Street by writing to the Met Police’s acting boss, Sir Stephen House
The London mayor demanded Sir Stephen explain ‘the factors which were taken into account’ by Scotland Yard officers when deciding whether to take action over Coronavirus rule-breaking in Number 10
The mayor’s intervention comes after the publication of photos yesterday showing Boris Johnson boozing with others in Downing Street in November 2020
Mr Khan wrote to Sir Stephen as he stepped up his demands for the Met Police to provide ‘clarity’ on their decision-making.
A spokesperson for the London mayor said: ‘Sadiq has today written to the acting Commissioner of the Met to seek a detailed explanation of the factors which were taken into account by investigating officers when decisions were made about whether to take action in individual cases in the Downing Street ‘Partygate’ investigation.
‘He has asked them to take steps to also reassure Londoners by making this explanation to them directly, because he is concerned that the trust and confidence of Londoners in the police is being further eroded by this lack of clarity.
‘The mayor has been clear he cannot and would not intervene in operational decisions, however with the investigation now complete, he has made this request in accordance with the Policing Protocol Order 2011 paragraph 23(g).’
Amid Tory fury at Mr Khan’s intervention, the mayor was told he is risking politicial interference in police activities.
Senior Conservative MP David Jones, a former minister, told MailOnline: ‘This is an operational matter and he has no role in such matters.
‘Why the police make decisions is a matter for the Commissioner, and not for a politician.’
Following yesterday’s release of photos of the PM drinking in Number 10, Scotland Yard declined to explain why Mr Johnson was not fined over the 13 November event.
The Met Police offered no comment beyond what they said last week, when the force announced the completion of their Operation Hillman investigation into Partygate had resulted in 126 referrals for fixed penalty notices.