London police accused of ‘stitch-up’ over refusal to probe Downing St events – MajorUpdates

Metropolitan Police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick was accused of presiding over an “establishment stitch-up” on Friday because the London drive stood by its refusal to analyze Downing Street over lockdown events.

Liberal Democrat chief Sir Ed Davey urged Dick to not let UK prime minister Boris Johnson “off the hook” as Number 10 was compelled to challenge an apology to Queen Elizabeth for 2 workers events in April final yr that had been held the night time earlier than the funeral of her husband, Prince Philip. The monarch sat alone through the service in compliance with Covid-19 rules on the time.

Davey stated it was “clear to everyone” that Johnson had damaged the legislation over lockdown guidelines: earlier this week the prime minister provided a partial apology to parliament after admitting he attended a “bring your own booze” social gathering at Number 10 throughout lockdown in May 2020.

“Cressida Dick mustn’t let him off the hook through a shady establishment stitch-up,” he stated. “The Met commissioner might think it’s one rule for Boris Johnson and another rule for everyone else, but that doesn’t make it right.”

The Met responded to questions by reiterating its earlier place that it was in contact with the Cabinet Office, which is conducting an investigation into the events led by senior civil servant Sue Gray. The drive has stated if that probe produced any additional proof, it will study it.

Jamie Klingler, from Reclaim These Streets, close to the bandstand in London the place the vigil for Sarah Everard was damaged up by police final yr © Aaron Chown/PA

Asked about reports that workers introduced a suitcase stuffed with wine into Downing Street for one of many events final April and whether or not officers had been conscious, the drive stated it didn’t focus on protecting safety preparations at authorities buildings.

Dal Babu, a former senior Met officer who carried out safety duties at Downing Street earlier in his profession, stated the drive had bought itself right into a “real muddle” over the obvious breaches.

“I think the police made a decision not to investigate right at the beginning,” Babu stated, referring to when the primary reports of Downing Street events in breach of lockdown rules appeared in November. “I should imagine they would have consulted with senior politicians around that, and I think it was a mistake because that has now become the story.”

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

The place has angered Jamie Klingler, organiser of a Reclaim These Streets vigil final yr on London’s Clapham Common. The occasion was damaged up by the Met, which made 4 arrests, as a result of the drive stated it breached coronavirus restrictions.

The vigil passed off on March 13 final yr, a month earlier than the April 16 Downing Street events, and was held to commemorate Sarah Everard, who was kidnapped, raped and murdered by Wayne Couzens, a serving Met officer on the time.

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

The Met has declined to analyze reports of not less than six separate events at Downing Street — one in May 2020, two in November 2020, one in December 2020 and the 2 final April — on the grounds it will not usually examine breaches of the coronavirus guidelines retrospectively.

The drive is already beneath intense scrutiny over its tradition and attitudes following Everard’s homicide and a string of botched investigations.

Kieron McArdle
Kieron McArdle, who was fined for a lockdown breach final yr, stated he was ‘angry and frustrated’ in regards to the Met’s stance © Sky News

Kieron McArdle, who was fined in March final yr after two buddies shocked him on his birthday to come back and drink with him in his backyard, stated he too was “angry and frustrated” in regards to the Met’s stance.

McArdle and his buddies every confronted a £200 fantastic, lowered to £100 every for fast fee, over the incident, in Coleshill, Warwickshire.

McArdle stated he and his buddies had accepted what they did was flawed, paid the fines and thought nothing extra of the matter till revelations in regards to the Downing Street events began to emerge.

“The Met Police are basically holding doors open for them and carrying drinks trays for them,” McArdle stated. “They’re as completely in it as the politicians.”

https://www.ft.com/content material/a5198e72-3238-4029-9bb4-0dd4b9f9c871

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