Number 10 ask Metropolitan Police not to publish Downing Streets partygate photos

Boris Johnson receives legal questionnaire from partygate police

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The Met Police received Number 10’s request after Downing Street aides were concerned the photos could harm their reputations, according to the Times. It is understood this could mean hundreds of photos, including some of 57-year-old Boris Johnson, are unlikely to be published.

The Mirror claimed one image even showed the Prime Minister holding a can of Estrella beside Chancellor Rishi Sunak, 41.

Reports claim the Met has not yet responded but added that they are expected to give Number 10’s request approval.

Sue Gray, 64, who leads a separate report into ‘partygate’, is thought to have “no intention” in publishing the 300 photos that she handed over to the police when her report is complete.

However, Ms Gray could refer to individuals’ job titles or descriptions.

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There remains a possibility photos could emerge if cases go to court following an appeal.

The Cabinet Office is thought to have issued civil servants with a Q&A document.

Staff have also received assurances they will not publicly name those who receive a fixed penalty notice.

The Met is instead expected to state the overall number of people who have been fined at each event.

The police are also in the process of sending questionnaires to 90 alleged lockdown party attendees.

Mr Johnson recently hired a private lawyer and instructed Scotland Yard to send the questionnaire to his legal team.

The Prime Minister is expected to say he attended six different events as a part of his working day.

He will therefore rely on his diaries to prove he returned to work meetings afterwards.

However, legal experts have questioned Mr Johnson’s potential defence.

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Adam Wagner, a barrister and expert on coronavirus regulations, said: “The key legal question is whether he ‘participated’ in an unlawful gathering.”

Mr Wagner, who told his Twitter followers to back Remain or risk Mr Johnson becoming Prime Minister in 2016, added: “There is no definition of ‘participate’ in the regulations, so it just means what you would think it means.

“For example, being photographed with a bottle of beer at a birthday gathering which was arranged for you very strongly suggests ‘participation’.”

The Cabinet Office declined to provide comment to the Times.

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