World

Partygate live: No 10 has received copies of Sue Gray’s report, according to reports


Boris Johnson receives Sue Gray’s report into Partygate

The Cabinet Office has confirmed that Boris Johnson has got the Sue Gray report. A spokesperson said:

We can confirm that Sue Gray has provided her final report to the prime minister.

No 10 is expected to say when the report will be published.

Nine photographs are being published in or alongside the Sue Gray report, according to Tom Harwood from GB News.

UPDATE: I understand the 37 pages DO NOT include photographs.

Number 10 still waiting for the expected accompanying pictures.

— Tom Harwood (@tomhfh) May 25, 2022

UPDATE: The photographs have been provided to No10. There are 9 of them.

— Tom Harwood (@tomhfh) May 25, 2022

Boris Johnson receives Sue Gray’s report into Partygate

The Cabinet Office has confirmed that Boris Johnson has got the Sue Gray report. A spokesperson said:

We can confirm that Sue Gray has provided her final report to the prime minister.

No 10 is expected to say when the report will be published.

Mark Spencer, the leader of the Commons, has confirmed that Boris Johnson will make a statement to MPs about the Sue Gray report. This should be at 12.30pm, straight after PMQs.

This is from Nikki da Costa, a former director of legislative affairs at No 10, speaking up on civil servants whose reputations, she fears, will be tainted by the Sue Gray report.

When the Gray report comes there will be much commentary on those named. The public won’t know the story of their service – not just during pandemic – what they gave the country. Their story becomes reduced to this report. Civil servants don’t get a voice unlike us politicos.

— Nikki da Costa (@nmdacosta) May 25, 2022

Tom Harwood from GB News is now also saying the report has arrived in Downing Street. It is 37 pages long, he says.

BREAK: Downing St has just received the Sue Gray Report. It’s 37 pages long.

— Tom Harwood (@tomhfh) May 25, 2022

There have been conflicting reports as to whether the Sue Gray report has (see 9.16am) or has not arrived at No 10. It is possible that this could be because of the difference between copies arriving in the building, and staff being allowed to read them.

Boris Johnson spoke to Simon Case, the cabinet secretary, this morning and has confirmed that Case will not be sacked, the BBC’s Chris Mason reports.

The country’s most senior civil servant, the Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, is not resigning and will not be sacked.

Mr Case and the Prime Minister spoke briefly this morning. https://t.co/X54uwYzksH

— Chris Mason (@ChrisMasonBBC) May 25, 2022

Junior officials at No 10 feel as if they have been “hung out to dry” over Partygate, Lord Kerslake, a former head of the civil service, said this morning. Kerslake, who has also advised the Labour party, told Times Radio:

There is no doubt that senior civil servants, if they are aware of these parties and allowed them to happen, or even participated in them, are responsible and should be held to account.

The clear and most significant responsibility lies with the prime minister. It is his house, it’s his office.

What I pick up is a huge amount of anger amongst the junior staff, who feel they are being hung out to dry.

They co-operated with the Sue Gray inquiry; that evidence then went to the police. They have been given fines and they do not feel like they are being properly supported.

From the Mirror’s Pippa Crerar

Latest is that No 10 staff will be able to see those hard copies in just one room in Downing Street at 10am.

— Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) May 25, 2022

George Eustice, the environment secretary, was giving interviews on behalf of the government this morning, and he told Times Radio that the dividing line between work and social activity in Downing Street during the pandemic clearly became blurred. He said:

Clearly what happened in No 10 is a culture developed where they were working there, it was their place of work, and there were times when they would have a drink at the end of the day.

That boundary between what was acceptable and what wasn’t got blurred and that was a mistake and Sue Gray highlighted that in her first interim report and I think she is almost certainly going to say more about that when her final report comes out.

Eustice also hinted that the cost of living rescue package may be announced tomorrow, saying: “My understanding is that [Rishi Sunak, the chancellor] is looking at things and we may hear more this week.”

According to a report by Anna Isaac for the Independent, Downing Street has been make contingency plans for the possible resignation of Simon Case, the cabinet secretary, following the publication of the Sue Gray report. Isaac says:

The drafted letter notes Mr Case’s contributions during the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. It also notes he took on the role from Sir Mark Sedwill in September 2020, when the country was in the midst of facing Covid, its greatest challenge since World War Two.

But Robert Peston, ITV’s political editor, says Case will not be resigning.

I am told from official source that the cabinet secretary Simon Case will NOT be resigning as cabinet secretary. https://t.co/gWCk0uVAe4

— Robert Peston (@Peston) May 25, 2022

No 10 receives copies of Sue Gray’s report into Partygate

Copies of the Sue Gray report have now arrived at No 10, the Mirror’s Pippa Crear reports.

NEW: No 10 sources tell me that hard copies of the Sue Gray report have just arrived in the building.

— Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) May 25, 2022

Sue Gray report expected to be published within hours amid fresh details of No 10 drinking culture

Good morning. We are expecting to get the full Sue Gray report into Partygate later today and, although it would be a mistake to say this moment poses the greatest threat yet to Boris Johnson’s chances of survival as Tory leader and prime minister – a few months ago most MPs and commentators would have agreed that the police investigation was more dangerous – it is certainly going to be perilous for him. The appetite amongst Tory MPs for a leadership contest seems to have faded in recent weeks, although it is not impossible that the mood could change swiftly within the next 24 hours.

As a measure of how serious this is, the government seems to be poised to announced a multi-billion cost of living rescue package tomorrow. Ministers were working on this anyway, but the desire to publish it tomorrow is no coincidence, and it may be the most expensive dead cat ever. Downing Street has got form for bringing forward major announcements to bury the shame of a Partygate story; it happened with the Covid plan B before Christmas.

Last night the BBC broadcast a Panorama documentary giving more details of the partying culture at No 10. We’ve covered it here and here. The full significance of Allegra Stratton’s throwaway line “And it was not socially distanced”, in the No 10 briefing rehearsal showing her and colleagues joking about a Downing Street Christmas party that was later leaked, is apparent in the light of the revelation that one leaving do was so crowded that people were sitting on each other’s laps.

And this morning the Daily Mirror has new evidence of a No 10 party that was not investigated by Sue Gray or the police. In her report Pippa Crerar says:

Downing Street is facing yet more questions over the Partygate scandal after a new picture emerged of yet another boozy No 10 lockdown session.

The image shows a table littered with bottles of fizz and wine to mark the last press briefing held by senior aide James Slack on 17 November, 2020.

The event, which sources said was attended by 30 to 40 staff, is not thought to have been investigated by Ms Gray or Scotland Yard.

It was sent around aides at on a WhatsApp group in response to a message from a senior official who wrote: “Time to open the Covid secure bar”.

Earlier in the afternoon, No 10 officials exchanged messages which appeared to show that the event was planned in advance.

The Mirror has put the new picture, showing a table laiden with drinks for the event, on its front page.

Within the last hour Chris Mason, the BBC’s political editor, said Gray has still not submitted her report to Downing Street.

NEW: Sue Gray’s report is, I am told, still being worked on this morning by her team at the Cabinet Office.

This is in line with the timings expected by her team last night — they anticipate sending it to Downing Street shortly.

https://t.co/32CEC1qqW5

— Chris Mason (@ChrisMasonBBC) May 25, 2022

Today I will be focusing almost exclusively on Partygate. Some timings have not been confirmed yet, but here is the agenda for the day.

Morning: Sue Gray is expected to submit her report into Partygate to No 10.

Late morning/early afternoon: The Sue Gray report is expected to be published.

12pm: Boris Johnson faces Keir Starmer at PMQs.

After 12.30pm: Johnson is expected to make a statement to MPs about the Sue Gray report.

Afternoon/early evening: At some point in the afternoon or early afternoon Johnson is expected to hold a press conference.

5pm: Johnson is scheduled to address Conservative MPs at a private meeting.

I try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

Alternatively, you can email me at andrew.sparrow@theguardian.com.





READ NEWS SOURCE

Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.