Attendees at Kate Josephs’ farewell event on December 17 2020 have been issued with fixed-penalty notices, the Daily Telegraph reported.
05 April 2022
Fines for breaking coronavirus laws have reportedly been issued to people who attended a leaving party for a senior official who helped shape the Government’s response to the pandemic.
The Daily Telegraph reported that some of those at the farewell event for Kate Josephs, who was director-general of the Cabinet Office’s Covid-19 taskforce, have been handed fixed-penalty notices (FPNs).
The drinks event was held in the Cabinet Office on December 17 2020 at a time when London was under Tier 3 restrictions, banning indoor socialising.
So far 20 fines have been issued following Scotland Yard’s investigation into alleged lockdown-busting parties in Downing Street and Whitehall.
Ms Josephs, who is on discretionary leave from her role as chief executive of Sheffield City Council, has not commented on the Telegraph report.
In January, after news of the gathering emerged, she said she was “truly sorry” about the event.
“On the evening of 17 December, I gathered with colleagues that were at work that day, with drinks, in our office in the Cabinet Office, to mark my leaving the Civil Service.
“I am truly sorry that I did this and for the anger that people will feel as a result.”
Sheffield City Council brought in an independent investigator to examine the situation and a cross-party committee is looking at the findings.
A council spokesman said: “The committee will need to meet again once they have had time to properly consider the contents of the investigator’s report.
“Until then, the committee needs to focus on its work.”
Ms Josephs is under no obligation to tell the council if she has received an FPN.
The identities of people issued with FPNs will not be disclosed by the Metropolitan Police, although Downing Street has said it will confirm if either Boris Johnson or Cabinet Secretary Simon Case are handed a fine.
The reports about fines over Ms Josephs’ leaving came after a former senior official became the first person to confirm they had received an FPN as a result of the partygate investigation.
Former deputy cabinet secretary and Whitehall ethics chief Helen MacNamara said she was “sorry for the error of judgment I have shown”.
She was reported to have received the fine in connection with a leaving do held in the Cabinet Office on June 18 2020.
Ms MacNamara, who now works for the Premier League, said: “I am sorry for the error of judgment I have shown. I have accepted and paid the fixed penalty notice.”
The Telegraph reported that Ms MacNamara, who was in charge of Whitehall propriety and ethics at the time, was given a £50 fine after police concluded she had broken Covid laws by attending a leaving party for Hannah Young, a Downing Street aide, who was moving to New York to take up a role with the British Consulate General.
Meanwhile, the Guardian reported that others had been fined for a gathering held on the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral last year.