Government’s former ethics chief Helen MacNamara apologises after lockdown party fine

Ms MacNamara was in charge of propriety and ethics across Whitehall when she attended the event, held in the Cabinet Office, on June 18, 2020. It took place to mark the departure of Hannah Young, a Downing Street private secretary, who was taking a job with the British Consulate General in New York.

Around 20 people are understood to have attended. At the time, social gatherings indoors were forbidden under lockdown laws.

Numerous government sources said there had been a drunken brawl or altercation at the event, which gained notoriety within Whitehall as the “partygate” saga emerged.

Ms MacNamara is understood to have been given a £50 fine on Friday after police concluded that she had broken Covid laws.

Two of the dozen events being investigated by police are known to have led to fines – the event for Ms Young and a Downing Street gathering the night before the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April last year.

Boris Johnson did not attend either gathering, according to multiple sources familiar with the events. He has denied breaking rules by attending some of the other events being investigated.

Scotland Yard officers are continuing their inquiries. Downing Street sources have said they will let the public know if Mr Johnson is fined.

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