Sue Gray report: Live updates as Boris Johnson to make statement on No 10 'partygate' findings

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Sue Gray’s redacted report on the “partygate” allegations of lockdown-busting gatherings in No 10 and Whitehall has been published.

She found that “at least some of the gatherings” she investigated represent “a serious failure to observe not just the high standards expected of those working at the heart of Government but also of the standards expected of the entire British population at the time”.

Police are investigating the gathering in the Cabinet Room in No 10 on Boris Johnson’s birthday in 2020, the report suggests.

The House of Commons confirmed that the Prime Minister will make a statement to MPs on the inquiry at 3.30pm.

Follow our live blog below for the latest updates on the report:

Live updates as Boris Johnson to make statement on Sue Gray’s ‘partygate’ report

Key Events

  • Sue Gray hands Boris Johnson a version of her partygate inquiry
  • The redacted report on the allegations of lockdown-busting gatherings in No 10 has been published
  • Police investigating gatherings on at least eight separate occasions, report suggests
  • Boris Johnson will make a statement to MPs on the inquiry at 3.30pm

Report reveals 12 events are being investigated by the police

The report reveals 12 events are being investigated by the police, including a gathering in the Downing Street flat and an event to mark Boris Johnson’s birthday in June 2020.

While Ms Gray makes some broad findings about “failures of leadership and judgment” in parts of No 10 and the Cabinet Office, her report makes clear that the police investigation prevented more substantial findings being presented.

“As a result of the Metropolitan Police’s investigations, and so as not to prejudice the police investigative process, they have told me that it would only be appropriate to make minimal reference to the gatherings on the dates they are investigating.

“Unfortunately, this necessarily means that I am extremely limited in what I can say about those events and it is not possible at present to provide a meaningful report setting out and analysing the extensive factual information I have been able to gather.”

Ms Gray said she decided not to publish factual accounts relating to events not under investigation by police because it would damage her overall findings.

She wrote: “In respect of the gatherings that the Metropolitan Police has assessed as not reaching the threshold for criminal investigation, they have not requested any limitations be placed on the description of those events, however, I have decided not to publish factual accounts in relation to those four dates.

“I do not feel that I am able to do so without detriment to the overall balance of the findings.”

Report finds Downing Street lockdown parties were a ‘serious failure’

The report criticised “failures of leadership and judgment” by parts of No 10 and the Cabinet Office.

It said: “Against the backdrop of the pandemic, when the Government was asking citizens to accept far-reaching restrictions on their lives, some of the behaviour surrounding these gatherings is difficult to justify.

“At least some of the gatherings in question represent a serious failure to observe not just the high standards expected of those working at the heart of Government but also of the standards expected of the entire British population at the time.

“At times it seems there was too little thought given to what was happening across the country in considering the appropriateness of some of these gatherings, the risks they presented to public health and how they might appear to the public.

“There were failures of leadership and judgment by different parts of No 10 and the Cabinet Office at different times. Some of the events should not have been allowed to take place. Other events should not have been allowed to develop as they did.”

Sue Gray report published by No.10

Sue Gray’s redacted report on the “partygate” allegations of lockdown-busting gatherings in No 10 and Whitehall has been published.

In her report on the partygate row, Gray said the Downing Street garden was “used for gatherings without clear authorisation or oversight” and “this was not appropriate”.

She found that “at least some of the gatherings” she investigated represent “a serious failure to observe not just the high standards expected of those working at the heart of Government but also of the standards expected of the entire British population at the time”.

Police are investigating the gathering in the Cabinet Room in No 10 on Boris Johnson’s birthday in 2020, the report suggests.

The Gray report concluded: “The gatherings within the scope of this investigation are spread over a 20-month period – a period that has been unique in recent times in terms of the complexity and breadth of the demands on public servants and indeed the general public.

“The whole of the country rose to the challenge. Ministers, special advisers and the Civil Service, of which I am proud to be a part, were a key and dedicated part of that national effort.

“However, as I have noted, a number of these gatherings should not have been allowed to take place or to develop in the way that they did. There is significant learning to be drawn from these events which must be addressed immediately across Government. This does not need to wait for the police investigations to be concluded.”

The cover of the Sue Gray partygate report, the Investigation into Alleged Gatherings on Government Premises During Covid RestrictionsThe cover of the Sue Gray partygate report, the Investigation into Alleged Gatherings on Government Premises During Covid Restrictions
The cover of the Sue Gray partygate report, the Investigation into Alleged Gatherings on Government Premises During Covid Restrictions | PA

Chief whip arrives at Downing Street

The Conservative Chief Whip Mark Spencer has arrived at Downing Street, Westminster, before the Prime Minister’s statement to MPs on the Sue Gray report.

Photo: PA Wire/Jonathan Brady.

PA

Boris Johnson to address Conservative party

Boris Johnson will address a meeting of the whole Conservative parliamentary party at 6.30pm, a senior Tory MP has said.

No 10 to publish limited Sue Gray report – but does not commit to full version

Downing Street has said the limited version of the partygate inquiry that Sue Gray handed to Boris Johnson will be published on Monday afternoon, but would not commit to publishing a fuller report after police have finished investigating.

No 10 said the pared-back report into allegations of lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street will be published on Monday afternoon in the format it has been received, ahead of the Prime Minister facing MPs at 3.30pm.

Downing Street said it received the update from the inquiry team at around 11.20am on Monday, after Ms Gray and Mr Johnson spoke briefly a day earlier.

he Cabinet Office described the document Ms Gray handed the Prime Minister as an “update”, suggesting she may wish to publish a fuller version of the results of her inquiry after the Met completes its investigation.

Asked whether the public will see a fuller report, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “That’s one of the things I can’t confirm at this point simply because we need to discuss that with the Met and others about what is suitable.”

But he said there will be no redactions from the version currently submitted to No 10, saying: “We will publish it as received”.

The spokesman said: “The findings will be published on gov.uk and made available in the House of Commons library this afternoon and the Prime Minister will then provide a statement to the House after people have had the opportunity to read and consider the findings.”

Sue Gray hands Boris Johnson a version of her partygate inquiry

Sue Gray has handed Boris Johnson a version of her inquiry into allegations of lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street, the Cabinet Office said.

A carefully worded statement suggested that the “update” to the Prime Minister from the senior civil servant was not the full report after she was told to pare it back by Scotland Yard.

Mr Johnson had earlier insisted “I stick absolutely to what I’ve said in the past” when questioned about his reported denials of any wrongdoing to Tory MPs.

The House of Commons confirmed that the Prime Minister will make a statement to MPs on the inquiry at 3.30pm.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “We can confirm that Sue Gray has provided an update on her investigations to the Prime Minister.”

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