Ian Hislop slams decision to stop Partygate fine updates until after elections
BBC

Ian Hislop has hit out at the Metropolitan Police’s “ludicrous” decision to stop updating the public over partygate fines until the local elections take place in May.

The editor of Private Eye gave an impassioned verdict on the situation on Friday’s episode of Have I Got News For You, and called for the police to be investigated over its decision.

Downing Street has indicated it will still say whether the prime minister, who was already handed one fixed-penalty notice by police over a birthday event in 2020, receives further fines, despite Scotland Yard’s pause on announcements.

A Met spokesperson said: “While the investigation will continue during the pre-election period, due to the restrictions around communicating before the May local elections, we will not provide further updates until after 5 May.”

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Speaking on the show, Hislop said: “The police have said ‘well we won’t issue any more fines until the local elections, because we don’t want the electorate to know what’s going on. That would ruin the point of democracy’.

“I mean, it’s just ludicrous. I think the police should be investigated as to why they’re not issuing these fines. Why not?”

Social media users reacted to the comment, with one saying: “I always forget that democracy is based on withholding information that might help voters make an educated choice. Silly, silly me.”

Another added: “Surely if they believe issuing more fines will influence the local elections then not issuing them will do the same?”

It’s not the first time Hislop has hit out at the situation surrounding partygate, after he delivered a blistering attack on Johnson last week.

The journalist expressed doubts over the sincerity of Johnson's apology that he issued after being fined for breaking lockdown rules in June 2020 and called on the whole Tory party to resign.

He said: "He's done a fulsome apology. The world 'fulsome' means insincere, over the top, not meant.”

It comes as sources told the Independent that at least two Downing Street staffers have received police fines for attending a ‘bring your own booze’ event on 20 May 2020.

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