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31 January 2022

What does Sue Gray’s report say? ‘Partygate’ inquiry is finally handed over to Prime Minister

31 January 2022

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.

Parliamentary sources said they were expecting the Prime Minister to make a statement to the House of Commons some time after 3.30pm on Monday.

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

The wording suggested that the official may wish to publish a fuller-version of the results of her inquiry after the Met completes its investigation.

Downing Street has committed to publishing the report before Mr Johnson addresses MPs.

Its publication was thrown into disarray last week when Scotland Yard requested that Ms Gray makes only “minimal reference” to events that officers are investigating.

Asked about warnings that the inquiry will be a “whitewash” because of the changes, Mr Johnson said: “You are going to have to wait and see both what Sue says and, of course, what the Met says.”

Boris Johnson ahead of his expected receipt of the Whitehall inquiry (PA/Matt Dunham) (PA Wire)

The Prime Minister has publicly said he is “deeply sorry for misjudgments” surrounding events in No 10, but insisted no-one warned him a garden party in the first lockdown would be against the rules.

In private, however, he is said to have told Conservative MPs who may oust him as Prime Minister over the saga that he has done nothing wrong.

“You’re going to have to wait and see the outcome of the investigations but, of course, I stick absolutely to what I’ve said in the past,” he said, when asked about those remarks during a visit to a freeport in Tilbury, Essex.

Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick announced last week that officers have begun an investigation into alleged Covid breaches in Downing Street and wider Government, after being handed information from the Gray inquiry.

But it threw the publication of the Whitehall report into disarray when the force controversially asked Ms Gray to limit what she writes about events under investigation by officers.

Concerned over the prospect of jeopardising a police inquiry, Ms Gray was understood to have complied with the Met’s request.

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