The Met announced this morning that they are set to issue 20 fixed penalty notices. Speculation is running rampant as to who will get them. Most seem to think that Johnson will get off scot-free.
With that in mind, I thought I’d channel my inner mystic Meg and make some predictions! I’m going to make three predictions based on nothing but sheer cynicism!
- Boris Johnson will not be fined
- A range of junior members of staff will be fined
- Boris Johnson will call for said junior staff members to resign
As a bit of bonus speculation, I have a feeling that there is going to be some blowback on Rishi Sunak. Perhaps he picks up a fine for being part of the cake ambush? It would be a bitter irony if he were to get into trouble for celebrating his bosses birthday. Particularly given the animosity between the two in recent weeks.
What will happen to those issued with fines?
First of all, the police have indicated that they are due to issue fixed penalty notices. Unless I am mistaken, this will equate to a £200 fine. Let’s not forget that around the same time the first parties were happening, two students in Derby were fined £10,000. After the Met dragged their heels in the investigation, it’s a little jarring to see such paltry fines handed out.
Second, even if Boris Johnson is fined it seems he is set to resist calls for his resignation. As recently as this morning No 10 refused to concede that the law had been broken. This is despite the announcement from the police that fines were due to be issued. The only reason for Boris Johnson to argue this point is if he intends to dig in. Indeed, the attack lines have already started.
Finally, it seems like this is just the thin end of the wedge. The police were at pains to clarify that they had a substantial amount of uninvestigated material. This could lead to an interesting sequence of events. Imagine for a second that Boris Johnson is not fined in the first round. Let’s also imagine that he were to call for those who had been fined to resign. What would happen then if he was caught up in round 2? This will be the political calculus that Johnson and his SPADs will be thinking about today.