Student fined £10,000 for organizing snowball fight says revelers’should be punished’ at Downing Street party
Fair Trials, a criminal justice watchdog, is calling for an end to all Covid-related prosecutions in the UK, as well as the cancellation of all fines and convictions.
A student who was fined £10,000 for organizing a snowball fight during lockdown has demanded that Downing Street staff who attended a Covid rule-breaking party “be treated the same way.”
“If you break the rules, you should be punished in the same way that everyone else,” Xen Watts told me.
The 23-year-old, who was a student at the University of Leeds at the time, created a Facebook event for a snowball fight “as a joke,” which he later deleted.
However, the damage had already been done, and hundreds of people had gathered in Leeds’ Hyde Park within a few hours.
“The police implied in my interview that I was responsible for thousands of deaths related to the snowball fight,” he said.
He was fined £10,000 for putting on a large public event.
He still hasn’t paid the fine.
It comes after new information about two more Downing Street parties held on the eve of Prince Philip’s socially distant funeral, while Covid restrictions remained in place across the UK.
It’s the latest in a string of allegations that various parties in Downing Street and Westminster violated coronavirus regulations at the time.
Mr Watts, who believes that “people would’ve gone to the park anyway” regardless of the Facebook event, said that news of the Downing Street parties “makes you lose your faith in government a little bit.”
“As long as they have to face the same consequences as everyone else,” he added, “that’s fair.”
Fair Trials, a criminal justice watchdog, has called for an end to all Covid-related prosecutions in the UK, as well as the revocation of all fines and convictions.
“We cannot have a justice system where people in power can break lockdown with impunity while others are prosecuted and fined,” Norman Reimer, CEO of Fair Trials, said.
“In response to the pandemic, the government has expanded police powers and introduced a slew of new criminal offenses.”
In hundreds of cases, policing has been harsh, discriminatory, and illegal.
The pandemic has brought to light pre-existing societal divisions.
UK news summary from Infosurhoy
Downing Street party: Student fined £10,000 for organising snowball fight says revellers ‘should be punished’