The Metropolitan Police has confirmed this morning that it will be closing its Partygate investigation after issuing 126 fines to top officials in Downing Street and Whitehall.
The conclusion of the investigation by the Metropolitan Police means that the long-awaited Sue Gray report can finally be released, following a 5-month delay.
The report is expected to be damning, in particular of the Prime Minister and his team, as well as the wider culture that has been allowed to prevail in Downing Street whilst the rest of the country was living in isolation.
There is now a question as to whether Tory MPs who were previously holding back on calling for his resignation will now be moved to act following the release of Sue Gray’s long-awaited report.
Boris Johnson has already made history as the first-ever PM to have beenfined or prosecuted for breaking the law during their time in office. It has not been clear, however, how many fines in total the PM has received – despite previous promises of transparency from No.10.
At the moment, the only fine that is confirmed for the PM is for his birthday in June – however, he is also known to have attended six out of the 12 events for which other fines have been recomended or issued.
The Met has made recommendations for a total of 126 fines, but it is being reported that these will take a short time to filter through.
The reason for the lack of clarity is that the events happened over eight dates, and the Met has only clarified which dates it has issued fines for as opposed to events, reports The Mirror.
The Met has said a team of 12 detectives “worked through 345 documents, including emails, door logs, diary entries and witness statements, 510 photographs and CCTV images and 204 questionnaires as part of a careful and thorough enquiry.”
Throughout the investigation, officials were issued questionnaires to fill out. No one, however, was interviewed under caution by the police.
All fines given out were for breaching restrictions on gatherings, with the exception of the 20 May 2020 garden party. This was said to have breached restrictions on “leaving, or being outside of, the place where you were living without reasonable excuse”.
Acting Deputy Commissioner Helen Ball, of the Met said: “There is no doubt that the pandemic impacted all of us in so many ways and strong feelings and opinions have been expressed on this particular issue.
“When Covid regulations were introduced, the Met was clear that whilst we would not routinely investigate breaches of regulations retrospectively, there may be occasions when it would be appropriate to do so.
The information that we received with regard to the alleged breaches in Downing Street and Whitehall was sufficient to reach our criteria to begin such an investigation.
“Our investigation was thorough and impartial and was completed as quickly as we could, given the amount of information that needed to be reviewed and the importance of ensuring that we had strong evidence for each FPN referral.”
Feature image – Commons Wikimedia
A look at the plans to turn historic Ancoats mill with rich musical heritage into new apartment complex
Hodder + Partners have just revealed new CGIs and a more detailed look at the plans for their redevelopment of the longstanding Brunswick Mill in Ancoats which is set to become a brand-new apartment complex.
The proposals to turn the once creative space with decades of musical heritage into a new residential site were revealed back in 2021 and approved within just a few months, despite having been met with plenty of resistance given its history and cultural significance.
Nevertheless, Northern company Big Red Construction recently kicked off the £50+ million renovation on behalf of developer Arrowsmith Investments and the apartments are projected to be finished in 2026.
With that in mind, the architectural designers Hodder have just released a new look at what Brunswick Mill is set to look like once completed:
Set to transform the historic industrial mill-turned-creative space and music studios on the edge of New Islington into 153 new apartments, ranging from one, two and three-bedroom residences, the redevelopment will be spread across two phases.
In line with designs by Hodder + Partners, the initial phase involves converting the existing mill building and the construction of new four and seven-storey elements to accommodate the remaining 127 homes on the Bradford Road plot in Ancoats.
Big Red Construction, who are also working on the Peelers Yard building for CERT Property and Myprotein founder Oliver Cookson, are expected to complete phase one by the first quarter of 2026.
Here’s another look at what living space people are already buying up:
Along with Hodder + Partners as architects, the project team also consists of HW Consultancy who are covering structural aspects, Manchester firm Clancy for mechanical and electrical considerations, as well as AM Pyro as fire engineers.
With property company Orlando Reid serving as estate agents for the project, 42 out of the 153 apartments have already been sold off-plan, with managing director Baljit Arora describing it as “an exciting period for all parties involved and for the city of Manchester”.
This is just the latest chapter in the continued regeneration of the Ancoats and the New Islington areas, which remain two of the most heavily re-developed areas in the city centre and Greater Manchester as a whole. You can see other hot properties in and around the region HERE.