Forcing ministers (and the PM) to reveal any fines they are given for partygate

Alistair Carmichael has tabled a rather niche motion in Parliament – the Ministerial Disclosure Bill. This would force Boris Johnson to admit to any fixed penalty notices he receives for lockdown breaches.

The Independent covers the story: Bill tabled to force Boris Johnson to reveal Covid fines which could total more than £12,000.

On Tuesday No 10 agreed to tell the media if the Prime Minister was fined as a result of the Met Police investigation into Downing Street parties. But they did not extend that to other ministers, nor did they say they would state the amount of any fines, both of which are covered in Alistair’s motion.

Mr Carmichael told The Independent that the repeated flip-flops from No 10 showed that the prime minister “holds the British public with deep disdain and is taking them for fools”.

“We’ve never needed a legal mechanism to force ministers to reveal if they’d received fixed penalty notices because we’ve never had a leader as shameless as Boris Johnson,” said Mr Carmichael.

“He not only flouts the laws he asked us all to follow, but then repeatedly lies about it.

“Conservative MPs have no excuse – they know that this man is not fit for public office. They should back my Bill so Boris Johnson is forced to come clean. If Johnson is found to have broken the law and fined by the police, he will surely have no choice but to resign.”

To top that off, Alistair has also written to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority to forestall any attempt to use tax-payers’ money to pay any fines.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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  • Roger Roberts 4th Feb '22 - 1:19pm

    A written answer in Lords stated that fines had been paid by 118,963 individuals for breach of the law during lockdown. If Boris and co get away with it shouldn t those already penalised – 118, 963 -be repaid ?

  • In April, 1920, Dr Catherine Calderwood FRCOG FRCPE was Chief Medical Officer for Scotland. She reported to and advised the Scottish Government on the COVID-19 pandemic. In April 2020, this very able clinician resigned after being seen breaking her department’s own advice in making a short visit to her holiday home in East Fife.

    Would that Johnson had the same sense of honour.

  • Jason Connor 4th Feb '22 - 5:49pm

    No they shouldn’t be repaid. The fines apply to everyone and the PM and politicians of all parties should be fined for breaking them.

  • Surely for the taxpayer to pick up the fines, relevant individuals will need to submit an expense claim, which can be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny, or has Boris already backtracked on open government?

    Additionally, further attention needs to be given to the “Brexit Freedoms Bill”, as this may be used to grant ministers powers to amend legislation to reduce the (modest) level of public scrutiny we currently enjoy, without having to involve Parliament…

  • David Raw 4th Feb ’22 – 4:21pm,,

    I saw a photograph of her; she has aged really well!

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