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The Met Police have confirmed that they will not issue any further partygate updates before the May local elections.

Scotland Yard confirmed to Sky News that the investigation would carry on and officers would continue recommending fines – but the force will not put out media notices on referrals until after the polls on 5 May.

Meanwhile, Number 10 pledged to confirm if the PM or cabinet secretary receive any fines before next month’s elections.

So far, more than 50 fines have been issued in relation to lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street and across Whitehall.

Politics live: Surprise U-turn ahead of debate on partygate inquiry

Boris Johnson, his wife Carrie Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak received and paid £50 fixed penalty notices.

The prime minister has faced persistent calls to resign over partygate and apologised to MPs this week in a performance high on contrition.

But he was accused of striking a less repentant tone in a behind-closed-doors meeting with Conservative MPs.

On Thursday, while on a trip to India, the prime minister urged MPs to wait until they have "the full facts" and for investigators to "do their stuff and then knock this thing on the head".

Putting the affair behind him may be easier said than done, however, as Mr Johnson is also thought to have attended some of the other 12 events in Downing Street and Whitehall in 2020 and 2021 being investigated by the Metropolitan Police.

He has also vowed to fight the next election as Tory leader.

MPs are debating in the Commons this afternoon and will vote later on whether he should be investigated over claims he misled parliament when he said no COVID rules had been broken in Downing Street.

Veteran Tory MP Steve Baker, who two days earlier had offered the PM his support, said: "The prime minister now should be long gone. The prime minister should just know the gig’s up".

Another Conservative, William Wragg, said it was "utterly depressing to keep being asked to defend the indefensible".

© Sky News 2022