Boris Johnson was forced to apologise this month for a “bring your own booze” party held in a Downing Street garden during the height of lockdown, telling MPs he “believed implicitly” that had been a “work event” and permitted under rules in place at the time.
The embattled Conservative leader, who has since faced calls to quit, insisted he understood the public’s “rage”, after a leaked email from his principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, revealed Downing Street staff had been invited to a gathering in May 2020 to “make the most of the lovely weather”.
Speaking to the Northumbria Police and Crime Panel, Kim McGuinness, the force’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), claimed that cops had received 239 reports of possible coronavirus-related offences that day.
She said: “A lot has changed over the last 12 months, with further restrictions and boosters, but throughout we have seen people in the North East do their bit to stop the spread of Covid.
“However, in Downing Street we saw a different story.
"The PM appears to have broken the law, the very laws he set in place.
“He appears to have attended a party when doing so was illegal, and he should resign.
“To put his actions in to some sort of context, on the day Boris Jonson was breaking the law and partying, Northumbria Police was made aware of 229 Covid-related incidents.
“Now, those will have been dealt with on a cases by case basis, and not all will have needed a fine.
"But we can’t have a situation where it is one rule for the Prime Minister and one rule for the rest of the country.
“We need moral leadership from our Prime Minister, and we are just not seeing it. Despite that, in Northumbria we are getting on with the job.”
The latest figures from the National Police Chiefs' Council have shown almost 7,000 fixed penalty notices were issued by Northumbria Police between March 27, 2020, and December 19 last year, out of more than 124,000 handed out nationally.