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Met ends investigation into Deputy Speaker gathering

Dame Eleanor Laing did not receive a fixed penalty notice from police regarding the event in December 2020 (House of Commons/UK Parliament/PA)
Dame Eleanor Laing did not receive a fixed penalty notice from police regarding the event in December 2020 (House of Commons/UK Parliament/PA)

No individuals will receive a penalty from the Metropolitan Police regarding a gathering in Parliament in December 2020, the force has said.

The gathering was said to have been arranged by Commons Deputy Speaker Dame Eleanor Laing to celebrate the birthdays of Tory MP Virginia Crosbie and peer Baroness Jenkin while London was in Tier 2 measures that restricted indoor socialising.

It was cited by Boris Johnson in a statement accusing Tory MP Sir Bernard Jenkin of “monstrous hypocrisy” for allegedly attending the event before sitting on the cross-party panel which found the former prime minister had lied to MPs with his partygate denials.

The Met said officers “assessed the available information and concluded it did not meet the threshold for the referral of any fixed penalty notices” and that there would be no further action.

It had already been confirmed by a spokesperson for the Commons Speaker’s Office that Dame Eleanor did not receive a fixed penalty notice from police regarding that event.

Ms Crosbie had also said she did not receive a penalty from the Met over the event.

It brings to an end the force’s investigations into alleged breaches of Covid regulations, which previously led to fixed penalty notices for Mr Johnson and then-chancellor Rishi Sunak over a gathering for the former prime minister’s 56th birthday.

In a statement, the Met said: “Our approach to the assessment of these allegations has been consistent throughout. The individuals affected have been told there will be no further action.

“This now concludes all assessments or investigations by the Met into alleged breaches of Covid regulations.”

Dame Eleanor and Ms Crosbie remain under investigation by the Commons standards watchdog over whether rules for MPs were broken.