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- Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since 2019
Scotland Yard was under pressure on Wednesday night to explain whether any of the officers on duty during the alleged Downing Street party had been aware of possible coronavirus law breaches.
Critics have suggested that members of the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command must have been aware if an illegal gathering inside No 10 had been taking place and therefore should have reported it.
With the country under Tier 3 restrictions on Dec 18 last year, work gatherings that were “primarily social” were banned and party organisers could face fines of up to £10,000.
One member of the London Assembly has written to the police watchdog demanding an investigation and alleging that Met's failure to launch a criminal investigation could lead to suspicion of “collusion”.
In a letter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb, a Green Party member, said: "If there was an illegal gathering taking place at No 10 Downing Street, then the police must have known and were highly likely to have played an active part in organising or facilitating the illegal gathering."
Baroness Jones said last night: "I am not seeking to get the police into trouble, they are really in a bit of an impossible situation, being expected to report on people they are protecting.
"But if they saw something that night - and I find it hard to believe they did not - then they should have reported it. I am also concerned about the Met’s failure to launch an investigation into this matter.”
A spokesman for the IOPC said: “We can confirm that we have received a complaint about the Metropolitan Police Service.
“The legal framework when we receive direct complaints requires us to send the complaint to the relevant police force to make decisions on recording it and whether a referral to us is required. We are following that process.”
One former Met protection officer, who has worked in Downing Street, said he thought it "inconceivable" that those on duty on the night of the alleged party would not have had an inkling that something was going on inside No 10.
He said: "Your main priority as a police officer is to enforce the law whether you are in Downing Street or in any other street in the land. If you believe that an offence has taken place then you are bound to intervene or report the matter according to your codes of conduct."
‘It is quite simply absurd to have this sort of criticism thrown at my officers’
But Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, dismissed the suggestion that those on duty would have been aware of any party happening.
He said; "People were not coming into Downing Street in hats, pulling party poppers and singing. They were members of staff coming into work. Nobody was coming out of the building staggering around.
“The doors and windows of Downing Street are reinforced and soundproof so those outside would not hear a thing that was going on inside the building.
“It is quite simply absurd to have this sort of criticism thrown at my officers.”
In the House of Commons on Wednesday, Boris Johnson said he would cooperate with any police investigation should one be launched.
Speaking at Prime Minister’s Question Time, Keir Starmer, the Labour leader said: “Today at Westminster Magistrates’ Court the Crown Prosecution Service is prosecuting over a dozen Covid breaches from last December involving those who hosted parties. They are doing their job in enforcing the law set in Downing Street.
“Will the Prime Minister support the police and the CPS by providing everything the Government knows about parties in Downing Street to the Metropolitan Police?”
Mr Johnson confirmed that he would.