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Boris Johnson Apologises After Sue Gray Report Finds 'Failures Of Leadership'

Jess Hardiman

| Last updated 

Boris Johnson Apologises After Sue Gray Report Finds 'Failures Of Leadership'

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has issued a statement about Sue Gray’s inquiry into allegations of lockdown-breaking parties at Downing Street and other government buildings. 

The Prime Minister apologised after the report into goings on at Downing Street during the Covid-19 pandemic was released today (31 January).

Speaking in Parliament after Gray’s investigation found ‘failures of leadership’ and criticised a culture of ‘excessive alcohol consumption’ within Downing Street and the Cabinet Office, Johnson began his statement by saying sorry ‘for the things we simply didn’t get right’ as well as ‘the way this matter has been handled’.

Accepting Gray’s findings, he added: "We must look at ourselves in the mirror and we must learn."

"And while the Metropolitan Police must yet complete their investigation - and that means there are no details of specific events in Sue Gray’s report - I, of course, accept Sue Gray’s general findings in full, and above all her recommendation that we must learn from these events and act now."

However, Johnson added that it ‘it's no use saying this or that was within the rules’

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

"This pandemic was hard for everyone," he added, "We asked people across this country to make most extraordinary sacrifices.

"It isn’t enough to say sorry".

Earlier today, the Cabinet Office confirmed that Gray had provided an ‘update’ to the Prime Minister. 

A spokesperson said in a statement: “We can confirm that Sue Gray has provided an update on her investigations to the Prime Minister.” 

This morning’s statement did not say whether or not Johnson had seen the inquiry itself, following reports that Gray had been told to pare it back by the Metropolitan Police. 

Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick announced last week that officers had launched an investigation into the alleged Covid breaches after being handed information from the Gray inquiry. 

However, the force faced some criticism after asking Gray to limit what she publishes about events that are currently under investigation by officers. 

Commander Catherine Roper, who leads the Met’s Central Specialist Crime Command, said the force had asked for ‘minimal reference’ to be made in the report to the ‘relevant events’, in order to ‘protect the integrity of the police investigation’ and to be ‘as fair as possible to those who are subject to it’. 

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

She said: “This will only be necessary until these matters are concluded, and is to give detectives the most reliable picture of what happened at these events. We intend to complete our investigations promptly, fairly and proportionately. 

“We have not delayed this report and the timing of its release is a matter for the Cabinet Office inquiry team.” 

Roper added that the timing of the report's release was a decision for the Cabinet Office. 

She explained that, if proven, the offences would normally result in the issuing of a fixed penalty notice. 

“Should a recipient dispute the fixed penalty notice then the case will be referred back to the Met where officers will consider whether to pursue the matter in a magistrates’ court,” Roper said. 

“As the commissioner said, we will not be giving a running commentary but we will continue to update when significant progress is made in the investigative process. 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: UK News

Jess Hardiman
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