As a result of today’s announcement by the Metropolitan Police, Boris Johnson may now be interviewed under caution for an offence that carries a £100 fine. 

Why is the Met now deciding to investigate?

Scotland Yard had said it would not investigate, but that changed after Whitehall ethics chief Sue Gray handed officers the outline of her findings on Sunday – and it revealed potentially criminal matters.

Also, she is thought to have talked to Downing Street officers. The two gave what they described as “damning” witness statements regarding what transpired during lockdown.

Cressida, Met Commissioner Dick stated that her officers had determined that the material was suitable for investigation. This included the fact that it contained actual evidence and not just the words of someone.

What events is the police looking into?

The police refused to give details. However, it said they were investigating parties that date back at least two years from Whitehall and Downing Street. Scotland Yard may be looking at eight of 17 incidents that have been linked to controversy.

Police may look at June 19, 2020, when Downing Street staff gathered in the Cabinet Room at Number 10 to share cake to mark Boris Johnson's (pictured) 56th birthday

Police could look to June 19, 2020 as a time when Downing Street staff assembled in Number 10’s Cabinet Room for a shared cake to celebrate Boris Johnson’s 56th birthday (pictured).

It is possible that they will include the May 20, 2020 “bring you own booze” event for 100 Downing Street employees in No 10’s garden. 

People could not meet more than one other person in public spaces at the time. Boris Johnson claimed that this was an event for work.

Police might also be interested in June 19, 2020 when Downing Street staff met to celebrate Mr Johnson’s 56th Birthday. This was held at the Cabinet Room at Number 10. 

Indoor gatherings were prohibited by law. However, there are exceptions “if reasonably necessary” for work purposes.

Which are the possible penalties?

These offenses are not punishable by prison.

You can get a fine, but they are not stored on the Police National Computer. 

At the start of the pandemic, the fine was £100 for breaking the ‘rule of six’, which later doubled to £200. Organisers of parties faced fines of up to £10,000. 

Anybody who fails to pay the fine could be prosecuted for violating coronavirus laws, and will face a much higher penalty and criminal record if they are convicted.

Can PM be interviewed in caution?

He would be cautioned if police asked to interview Johnson to testify. 

However, the Prime Minister would likely be interrogated under caution if it was believed that he had committed an offense, even though he freely agreed to talk to officers.

If detectives want to collect additional evidence, obtain information that reveals further lines of inquiry, or allow the suspect to respond to the allegations, they will interview the suspect under caution.

Scotland Yard had said it would not investigate, but that changed after Whitehall ethics chief Sue Gray (pictured) handed officers the outline of her findings on Sunday

Scotland Yard initially said that it wouldn’t investigate. However, Whitehall ethics chief Sue Gray (pictured), gave officers an outline of her findings Sunday.

What will the time take?

Yesterday’s deadline was not set by Miss Dick. Given the large number of witnesses and parties under investigation, the probe may take many months.

As for cost, the investigation into the cash for honours scandal – when Tony Blair was Prime Minister – took 16 months and cost £1.4million. 

It concluded that the evidence was not sufficient to justify a criminal prosecution. Blair was interrogated three times but as a witness.

Is there any exemptions from the law?

Although the Public Health Act gave the authority to the Covid regulations, some lawyers suggested that the Act does not apply to Crown property. 

His exemption was not tested under law. Police have then assessed the Cabinet Office material and determined to open a criminal investigation.

Is there a more grave offense?

Police could also investigate if officials of public offices organize illegal gatherings.

It can result in a sentence of imprisonment