News / Lib Dems introduce bill to force prime minister to make Covid fines public

A pre-Covid photo of Isles MP Alistair Carmichael in parliament.

THE LIBERAL Democrats have proposed a bill to force Boris Johnson and any other government ministers to reveal if they have been issued with fixed penalty notices for breaching Covid rules. 

The Ministerial Disclosure Bill was presented to the Commons on Thursday afternoon by Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael who is also the party’s home affairs spokesperson.

It will now have its ‘second reading’ – usually the first opportunity for any bill to be debated – on 25 February.

Carmichael said that based on analysis by his party the prime minister could face fines of up to £12,300 for the six gatherings currently being investigated by the Metropolitan Police which he is currently suspected of attending.

In England police can issue fixed penalties of £100 for a first breach of Covid health regulations, and then doubling the amount for each further offence.


Police have confirmed that names of those issued with fixed penalty fines, used by officers to deal with motoring and anti-social behaviour offences, are usually not made public.

If Boris Johnson receives a fine following the police investigation into ‘party gate’, there is no legal mechanism to force him to reveal this to the public, and the prime minister has yet to confirm whether he would disclose such a fine.

Carmichael said that under the terms of the private members bill, which may well get no majority in parliament, the prime minister and any other government minister who may be fined for a breach of Covid rules would have to disclose this to the public.

“First Boris Johnson lied about the lockdown parties – now he’s refusing to tell the British public whether he broke the law. It shows he holds the British public with deep disdain and is taking them for fools,” Carmichael said.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


“Conservative MPs have no excuse – they know that this man is not fit for public office.

“They should back my bill, so Boris Johnson is forced to come clean. If Johnson is found to have broken the law and fined by the police, he will surely have no choice but to resign.”

Carmichael has also written to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) calling on them to rule out the possibility of the prime minister using taxpayer-funded expenses to pay any potential fines which he may receive.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.