Ex-Whitehall ethics chief issued with ‘partygate’ fine over ‘raucous’ lockdown bash

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Helen MacNamara, a senior member of staff in Whitehall and former Deputy Cabinet Secretary, has received a fixed penalty notice after attending a karaoke leaving party, the Telegraph has revealed. Ms MacNamara provided the karaoke machine for the leaving do on June 18 in 2020 for Downing Street aide Hannah Young and received a £50 fine on Friday for breaching lockdown rules.

The event, which took place on the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral, was held in the office of the Cabinet Secretary in Whitehall while regulations prevented large gatherings.

A source told The Telegraph that the office was picked for the gathering as it was large and would help facilitate some form of social distancing.

The event consisted of speeches and drinking wine and beer and numerous sources noted that as the karaoke machine was brought out the event became “raucous”.

Sources state that around 20 people were gathered in the office at the peak of the party as speeches were given to Ms Young.

The party is said to have ended at around 3am and a drunken argument allegedly developed between two guests that had to be broken up by other revellers.

The details of this event emerged while Sue Gray conducted her investigation into the partygate scandal.

The civil servant’s report examined 16 separate events.

While it is understood that no ministers attended the party, the Prime Minister’s former senior adviser Dominic Cummings and the former Cabinet Secretary, Sir Mark Sedwill, attended the event before leaving early on.

Neither Mr Cummings nor Mr Sedwill are thought to have been included among the twenty people to have received the first round of fines from the Metropolitan Police.

Ms MacNamara’s job in Whitehall was to “ensure the highest standards of propriety, integrity and governance within Government”.

As the second most senior civil servant in Whitehall, Ms MacNamara worked closely with Boris Johnson and ex-Health Secretary Matt on the Government’s response to COVID-19 and led the inquiry into the Prime Minister’s flat refurbishment.

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Mr Cummings has claimed that Ms MacNamara said to him: “I think this country is heading for a disaster. 

“I think we are going to kill thousands of people.”

In January last year, Ms MacNamara resigned from her position in the civil service to work as a director of policy and corporate affairs at the Premier League.

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