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The Most Shocking Findings From The Sue Gray Report After It's Made Public

Simon Catling

| Last updated 

The Most Shocking Findings From The Sue Gray Report After It's Made Public

Sue Gray's long-awaited report on 'partygate' has finally been made public.

The report has looked into a series of alleged parties at 10 Downing Street that took place during lockdown in the UK, at periods when the public had strict restrictions on how they were allowed to socialise during the pandemic.

Put on ice while awaiting the results of the Metropolitan Police's own investigation into the incidents, the senior civil servant's document has finally come to light and contains several damaging assessments of the government's behaviour during a period of time when they had instructed the rest of the country to adhere by life-changing Covid-enforced laws.

An interim version of Ms Gray's report, published at the start of the year, criticised 'failures of leadership and judgement' in Downing Street and said some events should not have 'been allowed to take place'.

The full version goes further though. Looking at some 16 events that could've broken lockdown restrictions, Gray's report states: "As I said in my 31 January update it was not for me to make a judgment on whether the criminal law had been broken: that is properly a matter for law enforcement bodies. Further to that on 19 May 2022 the Metropolitan Police announced that they had concluded their investigation. They confirmed that they had made 126 referrals for Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) to the ACRO Criminal Records Office for breaches of Covid-19 regulations.

"The Prime Minister and the Chancellor each confirmed that they had received an FPN in relation to the event on the 19th June 2020. The Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service confirmed that he has not received an FPN.

"Now that the police have concluded their enquiries I am able to set out in more detail, and in line with my terms of reference, my findings with respect to the gatherings within the scope of my investigation."

Credit: Sue Gray Report
Credit: Sue Gray Report

Elsewhere, the report states: "The original scope of the Cabinet Office investigation focused on three gatherings alleged to have taken place in No 10 Downing Street and the Department for Education in November and December 2020. The terms of reference also allowed for the investigation of credible allegations of other gatherings. That led to my team and I investigating a further 13 events reported to have taken place in No 10 and the Cabinet Office during the period of the pandemic.

"Details of these additional events emerged in a number of ways [...] It was also unfortunately the case that details of some events only became known to me and my team through reporting in the media. This is disappointing. Given the piecemeal manner in which events were brought to my attention, it is possible that events took place which were not the subject of investigation. However, my general findings and conclusions would equally apply."

In reference to an event that took place on 18 June 2020, starting at around 6.30pm, the reports found 'over 25 people gathered', 'including No 10 official Dominic Cummings and Simon Case'. The reports states the event continued into the evening, adding: "The event lasted for a number of hours. There was excessive alcohol consumption by some individuals. One individual was sick. There was a minor altercation between two other individuals. The event broke up in stages with a few members of staff leaving from around 21.00 and the last member of staff, who stayed to tidy up, leaving at 03.13."

A gathering at 10 Downing, on 19 June, 2020, to celebrate the prime minister's birthday. Credit: Sue Gray Report/Cabinet Office
A gathering at 10 Downing, on 19 June, 2020, to celebrate the prime minister's birthday. Credit: Sue Gray Report/Cabinet Office

Concluding the report, Gray wrote: "Whatever the initial intent, what took place at many of these gatherings and the way in which they developed was not in line with Covid guidance at the time. Even allowing for the extraordinary pressures officials and advisers were under, the factual findings of this report illustrate some attitudes and behaviours inconsistent with that guidance. It is also clear, from the outcome of the police investigation, that a large number of individuals (83) who attended these events breached Covid regulations and therefore Covid guidance.

"I have already commented in my update on what I found to be failures of leadership and judgment in No 10 and the Cabinet Office. The events that I investigated were attended by leaders in government. Many of these events should not have been allowed to happen. It is also the case that some of the more junior civil servants believed that their involvement in some of these events was permitted given the attendance of senior leaders. The senior leadership at the centre, both political and official, must bear responsibility for this culture."

The report's conclusion also noted: "I found that some staff had witnessed or been subjected to behaviours at work which they had felt concerned about but at times felt unable to raise properly. I was made aware of multiple examples of a lack of respect and poor treatment of security and cleaning staff. This was unacceptable."

Earlier today, 25 May, it was confirmed that Downing St had received the 37-page report. "We can confirm that Sue Gray has provided her final report to the prime minister," a spokesperson said.

The assessment comes after the Met wrapped up their own investigation, issuing 126 fixed-penalty notices across 83 different politicians and other staff members. Only a handful of people have resigned over the scandal, although other staff members have been sacked.

Controversy had been swirling even before today's publication of Gray's report though, with the civil servant and the PM allegedly having a meeting during which Sky News reported Johnson had implied that she should consider dropping it.

Number 10 has said the prime minister did not ask her to drop the report or not proceed with the report.

Credit: Sue Gray Report
Credit: Sue Gray Report

Now it's out, it's only going to heap more pressure on Johnson. Just two days ago, 23 May, more photos emerged purporting to show the PM drinking at a party in Downing St in November 2020.

The images obtained by ITV News shows Boris Johnson raising a glass at the leaving party held on 13 November for former Director of Communications Lee Cain.

At the time the party was held, social events with people outside of their household were banned after Johnson announced a strict lockdown due to rising Covid cases.

Today, 25 May, Johnson is expected to make a statement to MPs about the Sue Gray report, as well as a later address to Conservative MPs at a private meeting.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Sue Gray Report

Topics: Boris Johnson, UK News, Politics, Coronavirus

Simon Catling
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