Covid fines should be revoked after Boris Johnson’s questionable defence for attending lockdown-breaching events, a lawyer has argued.
Solicitor advocate Lucinda Nicholls of Nicholls & Nicholls spoke out as it emerged more than 20 penalties imposed on businesses had been struck down in recent months.
Nicholls said gyms were susceptible to fines due to confusing official guidelines – including regulations that said those with a BMI higher than 40 were ‘entitled to go to a gym for exercise’.
She has already represented 23 firms and said serious deficiencies in the evidence presented against her clients – as well as Boris Johnson’s confusion about his own rules – queried all penalties issued under covid legislation.
“In the context of Partygate, the government should be overhauling all of the covid fines issued to individuals and businesses,” Nicholls said.
“If the government that brought in the legislation had difficulties with regard to the exemptions and the defences, then that demonstrates that there is clearly going to be confusion among the local authorities and the police in relation to enforcement.”
Data released by the National Police Chiefs Council in March showed police in England and Wales issued 877 notices under business regulations while more than 100,000 were imposed on people over various other allegations. Yet more have been handed out by local councils.
Nicholls said there was no prospect of appeal where penalties had been paid, since this represented an admission of guilt, and said ministers should act to ensure all were overturned.