A bottle of champagne Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden donated to a fundraising auction has been labeled as ‘highly valuable as a souvenir of partygate’.
A photo of the gift, shared by food critic Jay Rayner on social media, shows the bottle label reading: “A bottle of champagne signed by Boris. Great value in remembrance of party door and the exemplary behavior and morality of our dear leader!”
A spokesperson for Mr Dowden released a statement saying he was unsure how the article would be described.
“This item was donated in good faith several months ago for a local charity auction,” the spokesperson said.
“Oliver Dowden had no prior knowledge of the description and that is obviously not his view.”
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Those close to the Conservative chairman believe it was written by someone involved in the fundraising event, held in Hertfordshire, where his constituency of Hertsmere is located, and not by someone associated with the Conservative Party.
Responding to Mr Rayner’s message, Labor MP Chris Bryant said: ‘They really don’t care about us.
In a statement, the Hertfordshire Community Foundation said: “This item was donated in good faith several months ago as part of a charity auction raising funds to support some of the county’s most vulnerable residents.
“The description was not written or seen by MP Oliver Dowden.”
At least another 50 fines were issued this week following the police investigation into lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street and Whitehall during coronavirus restrictions.
But number 10 confirmed Prime Minister Boris Johnson is not one of those who received a new fixed penalty notice (FPN).
In the latest update to its investigation, the Metropolitan Police said on Thursday it had made more than 100 referrals of FPNs to the ACRO Criminal Records Office for breach of COVID-19[feminine] regulations.
The identities of those receiving fines are not revealed by the police, as is usual practice with the issuance of fixed fine notices.
However, Downing Street has made it clear it will make it public if further fines are received by the Prime Minister, Chancellor or Cabinet Secretary.
Asked if he understood the Prime Minister and Mr Case were not among the latest tranche of people fined, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman told reporters: ‘That’s right, yes .”
Read more: Everything you need to know about the Met Police party investigation
Speaking after a regional cabinet meeting in Staffordshire on Thursday, the Prime Minister was asked whether he or his wife Carrie Johnson had received a second fixed penalty notice.
“No, but as soon as we have more to say on this, as I have said many times before, you will be among the very first to know,” he replied.
When the second set of fixed sanctions notices were revealed in April, it was quickly confirmed that the Prime Minister, his wife and Chancellor Rishi Sunak were among those sanctioned for breaking the government’s own COVID laws in a scandal. which has been dubbed “partygate”.
All three were hit with a £50 fine for attending a birthday party for the Prime Minister in the Cabinet Room in Downing Street on June 19, 2020.
They have all paid the fine since.
The Metropolitan Police investigation into lockdown-breaking parties held in Downing Street and Whitehall is still ongoing.
Sky News understands that people are still being called for an interview.
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