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Boris Johnson finally received Sue Gray’s report today as he prepares to publish it and face questioning from the Commons in a matter of hours.
The top official has given the prime minister her findings on Partygate, although the sources stressed that they are not her full conclusions due to police request.
The document is not expected to name any more junior staff and will have only “minimal reference” to incidents under criminal investigation. It is believed that Mrs. Gray wants to do a more complete version when Scotland Yard has completed its work, but No10 has so far refused to commit to that.
Johnson promised to release the watered-down report “as received” at least an hour before he is due to make a statement in the House of Commons at 3:30 p.m. m. Downing Street revealed that he briefly spoke to Mrs Gray last night.
Rumors swirled in Westminster that key advisers will have to fall to their swords, but Johnson is said to be “calm” that the threat of a successful coup against him by the Conservatives has receded.
The crisis over Ukraine also appears to overshadow the Partygate saga, with the prime minister visiting the country tomorrow and demanding that Vladimir Putin step back from the brink of invasion.
He has been helped by incipient signs of a recovery in the polls, although the Conservatives are still trailing labour.
It has emerged that police are likely to hand out fixed penalty notices to lockdown violators without making their names public, an approach that could limit embarrassment.
But there is still a chance that the situation could flare up dramatically, and it is understood that Mrs Gray was told of a ‘victory party’ organized by friends of Mr Johnson’s wife, Carrie, in apartment No11 to mark the resignation of Dominic Cummings.
Johnson has also come under fire from a former No10 official who says he vetoed plans to allow bereaved families to set up bubbles with their close relatives when restrictions began to ease last year.
Asked on a visit to Essex about fears that the investigation is a “cover-up” due to the changes, Johnson said: “You will have to wait and see what Sue says and of course what the Met says.” .
The prime minister was also questioned about reportedly telling MPs in private that he believes he has done nothing wrong.
“You will have to wait and see the outcome of the investigations, but of course I absolutely stand by what I have said in the past,” he told reporters at a free port in Tilbury.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘We can confirm that Sue Gray has provided an update to the Prime Minister.
“The findings will be published on gov.uk and will be available in the House of Commons library this afternoon and the Prime Minister will make a statement to the House after people have had a chance to read and consider the findings.”
Downing Street said it will publish the Gray report in the full form it received from the research team, but has not promised to publish a fuller version in the future.
Asked why the statement has so far been characterized as an “update”, the prime minister’s official spokesman said: “It is a reflection of the fact that there is an ongoing police investigation and the Met has made clear what its expectations about what may or may not be put into the public domain while that is ongoing.’
Asked if Ms Gray will be looking to publish more in the future, she said: “Obviously we will have to consider what might be appropriate and we are discussing with the Cabinet Office team in due course what might be appropriate, but At this point it’s unclear how the ongoing Met Police investigation might interact with any further work on this, but it’s obviously something we’ll want to keep under review.
Pressed on whether the public will see a fuller report after the Met’s investigation, the 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’s appropriate. “. ‘
A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “We can confirm that Sue Gray has provided an update on her investigations to the Prime Minister.”
Nikka da Costa, Johnson’s former director of legislative affairs, expressed her disbelief at No. 10 by refusing to confirm that Gray’s full report will be released at a later date.
She predicted that if Downing Street tried to block the publication, Labor would call an Opposition Day debate.
‘So MPs will be flogged into opposition? And how will that be portrayed publicly? What is the strategy behind this line?’ she tweeted.
She wrote in The Times overnight that the prime minister had shot down plans to allow bereaved families to set up bubbles with their close relatives when last year’s lockdown restrictions began to ease out of fear it “sent the wrong message to the public”.
Costa said the ban came just weeks before Downing Street staff held two booze-filled farewell parties the night before the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.
The former No10 official said she was “angry” when she heard Johnson’s allies “get a sense of proportion” in response to the No10 party’s accusations.
“If we at No. 10 were able to be so hard-hearted because we thought it was the right thing to do, then those involved in those kinds of decisions also owed it to the country to be so hard on themselves and their own conduct,” Costa said. she wrote.
She added: “If No 10 failed at that as a collective, as seems clear, it must be recognized as a failure of and by those at the top.”
The Mail on Sunday revealed that, as part of her investigation into socializing in Mr Johnson’s apartment 10, Mrs Gray was told about a “victory party” organized by friends of Carrie.
The party reportedly occurred on the night of November 13, 2020, after Dominic Cummings left with his belongings in a box.
He had allegedly lost a power struggle with then-Mrs. Symonds and other advisers.
“There was a lot of banging, dancing and drinking, and several Abba songs, including a triumphant Winner Takes It All,” a source said.
A spokesperson for Ms Johnson said: “It is wholly untrue to suggest that Ms Johnson held a party at the Downing Street flat on 13 November 2020.”
- Boris Johnson still facing Tory unrest after allegations of lockdown-busting parties in Downing Street
- Top civil servant Sue Gray has delivered report into claims of rule breaches, but made clear watered down
- The report will be published before PM makes statement to MPs at 3.30pm, amid fears aides will have to quit
- Tory temperature seems to have cooled and police ordered report to be watered down pending probe
- Ex-No10 official Nikka da Costa said Mr Johnson stopped plans to allow bereaved families to ‘bubble’