Concerns over police response to alleged No 10 party referred to IOPC
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) after a complaint was made over its handling of an alleged Downing Street Christmas party.
Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb wrote to the IOPC to raise concerns over the reported event on December 18, 2020 and the lack of an investigation. The MPS has since replied to confirm her complaint has been split into two parts.
Lady Jones had said there is a “case to answer” for the MPS “aiding and abetting a criminal offence, or deliberately failing to enforce the law in favour of Government politicians and their staff” due to the “extensive” police presence in Downing Street.
Acting Detective Chief Superintendent Tony O’Sullivan, directorate of professional standards, told the Green Party peer in a letter: “I have referred your complaint to the IOPC given that you effectively allege misconduct in public office by MPS police officers. The IOPC will now make a determination as to whether the complaint needs to be investigated and if so, how.”
An IOPC spokesperson said: “We can confirm that, on Friday December 17, we received a referral from the Metropolitan Police Service of a complaint about an alleged party at Downing Street in December 2020.
“We are assessing it to determine what, if any, further action may be required from us.
On the second part, the MPS inspector said it relates to Lady Jones’s complaint that MePS Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has “refused to investigate allegations of an unlawful gathering on December 18 2020.
“The Metropolitan Police Service is not the appropriate authority to handle complaints about the commissioner and, as such, this has been referred to MOPAC.”
MOPAC is the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime, which sets the direction and budget for the MPS.
It is alleged a Christmas Party in Downing Street on December 18 last year saw officials and advisers make speeches, enjoy a cheese board, drink together and exchange Secret Santa gifts, although the Prime Minister is not thought to have attended.
Mr Johnson’s spokeswoman Allegra Stratton quit after being filmed joking about it with fellow aides at a mock press conference.
The event is at the heart of an investigation being led by senior civil servant Sue Gray which is examining lockdown-breaking parties across Whitehall.
A spokesperson for MOPAC said: “A complaint has been received and is under consideration.”