THE NUMBER of fines handed out over party gate is to be revealed by the Met, but not the identity of the recipients.

According to a briefing document prepared by the Cabinet Office, the force will be able to detail how many fixed penalty notices (FPNs) it has issued, and for which events, in the course of their investigation into parties across Whitehall.

However the force has no obligation to reveal the names of those fined, and the civil service looks set not to reveal them either.

The latest revelations have sparked concerns over government transparency.

Downing Street has already acknowledged that “hypothetically” if Boris Johnson receives a fine over the partygate saga, they would disclose this to the public.

However as many as 50 people have been sent questionnaires by Scotland Yard, asking for their explanation for attending as many as 13 gatherings during lockdown when such events were banned.

Those who have received the questionnaires include senior civil service officials and political appointees, with critics arguing that the public should have the right to know if any senior figures are fined.

The Daily Telegraph reported today that a Q&A briefing document, prepared by the Cabinet Office, about the investigation procedure explained what information will and will not be published by the police over the course of their investigation.

The Met confirmed that a document had been drawn up by the Cabinet Office to brief staff, and that it was “consulted on those aspects relevant to its investigation and legal processes”.

The newspaper cited the Q&A sheet as suggesting the Met would confirm the number of FPNs issued in relation to each gathering under investigation – if any – and give its reasons for imposing the fines, without identifying individuals.

It said one line in the document reads: “The MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) approach during the pandemic has been to confirm the number of FPNs issued at particular events and to explain what those FPNs were issued for.”

On whether the Civil Service will “make public” details of the fines, the Q&A sheet reportedly says: “No. The Met will not publish the names of those who have received FPNs and the Civil Service will not know the details of recipients.”

The advice is said to have been sent to many officials interviewed by senior civil servant Sue Gray over the course of her inquiry into alleged lockdown-busting parties, or who attended gatherings now under investigation by the police.

The Telegraph said the Q&A sheet was drawn up by a Cabinet Office unit separate from Ms Gray’s investigations team.

Asked about the reports, the Met said: “This document was prepared by the Cabinet Office to brief staff. The MPS was consulted on those aspects relevant to its investigation and legal processes.”

The SNP has called on the Prime Minister to not only reveal if he had received a FPN but also publish his responses to the Met police questionnaire.

The party’s Westminster Depute Leader Kirsten Oswald MP said: “It’s quite extraordinary that the current Prime Minister is clinging onto power thanks to a police investigation into breaking his own laws.
“It’s absolutely vital that the Prime Minister offers full transparency by publishing his answers to the police questionnaire. By doing so, the public can fully gauge the extent of the scandal the Prime Minister finds himself engulfed in.