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Net widens after new ‘partygate’ photo surface

LONDON (AFP) – United Kingdom (UK) police have widened their probe into Downing Street lockdown events after a new photo emerged of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and are set to question more than 50 individuals.

The “partygate” scandal has placed Johnson in political jeopardy with several MPs from his Conservative party publicly calling for his resignation, although he denies any wrongdoing.

A Christmas “quiz night” held at Johnson’s Number 10 offices was not previously part of the Metropolitan Police’s investigation, which could potentially see him and staff fined for breaking COVID restrictions.

But the police said they were now looking at the December 2020 event, after the Daily Mirror printed the photo of Johnson and two colleagues – one draped in tinsel – near an open bottled drink.

The Met also confirmed that, by today, it would be sending “formal questionnaires to more than 50 people” to ask about their activities on the dates of at least 12 gatherings in Downing Street over 2020 and 2021.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. PHOTO: AP