UK ministers refuse to reveal Partygate photographs
Under the freedom of information law, photographs may be released - but, British ministers won't be doing so, at least not willingly.
10 Downing Street refuses to reveal any pictures taken by official No 10 photographers regarding the Partygate scandal. In response, the Labour party is calling on Boris Johnson to "come clean and release these photos."
The Cabinet office, however, refused to confirm or deny whether or not there are any photographs of the events in the cabinet room, leaving parties, or any party in Johnson's flat. Under freedom of information laws, official pictures were requested.
Downing Street argued that revealing the photographs would affect and influence the investigation.
It was reported that the photographs were among the evidence handed to Sue Gray for an investigation into Partygate. One of the photographs was on Johnson's birthday gathering on June 19, 2020, seen holding up a beer to the camera.
Angela Rayner, the deputy leader of Labour, demanded the photographs be released: “The Downing Street photographer is funded by the taxpayer. The public have every right to see the photos that their hard-earned money has paid for,” she said.
“By blocking their publication, Boris Johnson is trying to cover up his own rule-breaking.
“As this government inflicts crippling tax hikes on working families during a cost of living crisis, the least they can do is be honest about what that money is being spent on. Boris Johnson must come clean and release these photos.”
The government's lack of transparency has landed it under scrutiny.
The government has not required civil servants to disclose to the Cabinet whether or not they were penalized for Partygate - however, only Boris Johnson and Simon Case have revealed their penalties and fines.
Sue Gray not told who to receive fines over attending lockdown parties
Sue Gray, the civil servant charged with writing a report on the Partygate scandal, has been left in the dark on the matter of which parties in Downing Street have merited fines, though officials have started receiving fines of a low £50 for attending the illegal gatherings.
Several attendees have received emails this week following a police announcement that the force was issuing 20 penalty notices to those who they had reasonable belief attended the gatherings as per the probe launched into the matter.
The Metropolitan police have refused to disclose which parties had been fined the whopping 50 pounds. Regardless of whether this information should be made public, London is refusing to inform the civil servant on the case, Gray, of who attracted the penalties.
The Guardian had reported that "the only people who will be named if fined are Johnson, Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, who is also among those who filled in a police questionnaire about the alleged gatherings," and Cabinet Secretary Simon Case.
The civil servant is due to update and publish her report when the Met concludes its investigation into the matter, though she, as well as Downing Street, will not be receiving information on which of the 12 parties under the microscope have been penalized.