THE Metropolitan Police will face a fresh legal challenge over its alleged failure to properly investigate lawbreaking parties in Downing Street, it has been announced.

Jo Maugham, director of the Good Law Project, appeared to suggest the publication of pictures of the Prime Minister drinking with staff during lockdown had given scope for a new attempt to hold Scotland Yard accountable for allegedly failing to properly investigate Partygate.

It comes after ITV News published pictures which appear to show Boris Johnson holding a glass of wine with seven other people on November 13, 2020 – when indoor socialising between more than two people was illegal in England and the country was in lockdown.

Retweeting the pictures, Maugham said: “We have now had advice from our QC and junior.

READ MORE: Pictures emerge of Boris Johnson drinking during lockdown at boozy party

“We will be sending a further judicial review pre-action protocol letter to the Met in relation to the apparent failures in its investigation into the Prime Minister later this week.”

A pre-action protocol letter is a letter written to the Home Office in a bid to resolve a dispute through mediation before going to court. If mediation is not possible, court proceedings can take place.

Maugham’s action opens the door for a judicial review of the reasons the Metropolitan Police were slow to investigate law-breaking in the corridors of power during lockdown.

The Good Law Project previously launched legal proceedings against the force prior to police beginning to investigate potential rule-breaking.

Maugham added that the group would “publish that letter when we send it”.

The Met was fiercely criticised over its sluggishness in investigating lockdown breaches in Downing Street, initially claiming at it did not “normally” probe retrospective lockdown breaches.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson admits Sue Gray meeting was suggested by Downing Street

They also told the Good Law Project, which published communications from the force, that other reasons for not investigating were that Downing Street had stated Covid rules were followed.

A lengthy police investigation into pandemic rule-breaking concluded last week and resulted in 126 fines being issued to a total of 83 people, including the Prime Minister, wife Carrie Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Gray’s report is expected to be released imminently and is expected to set out the extent of law-breaking in Downing Street and Whitehall during lockdown. 

Pictures, if included in the report, could cast doubt on the Prime Minister’s assertions he was not aware the rules were being broken.

He is also facing an investigation from the Privileges Committee over whether he lied to Parliament.