Sue Gray report: key findings of inquiry into No 10 Downing Street parties - and how to read full publication
Sue Gray’s report criticised “failures of leadership and judgment” by parts of No 10 and the Cabinet Office.
Sue Gray has published her initial findings on the “partygate” allegations of lockdown-busting gatherings in No 10 and Whitehall.
The senior civil servant’s initial findings were published online.
It is not yet clear whether a fuller report will be published after the Metropolitan Police asked that “minimal reference” was made to the most serious allegations while the force’s investigation was being carried out.
Here we take a look at the key findings in the report and what Ms Gray said.
What are the key findings of Sue Gray’s report?
In her 12-page report on the partygate row, Ms Gray criticised “failures of leadership and judgment” by parts of No 10 and the Cabinet Office.
She said the Downing Street garden was “used for gatherings without clear authorisation or oversight” and “this was not appropriate”.
It was also revealed that police are investigating 12 events.
These include an event to mark Boris Johnson’s birthday in June 2020 and a “gathering in the No 10 Downing Street flat” on November 13 2020, the night Mr Johnson’s former aides Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain left their roles.
The May 20 2020 “bring your own booze” event in the No 10 garden which Mr Johnson attended for 25 minutes is also under investigation.
Ms Gray’s report also made it clear that the police investigation prevented more substantial findings being released.
What Sue Gray said about the Met Police investigation
The senior civil servant said it was “not possible at present to provide a meaningful report” setting out all she discovered, due to the ongoing police investigation.
She said: “As a result of the Metropolitan Police’s investigations, and so as not to prejudice the police investigative process, they have told me that it would only be appropriate to make minimal reference to the gatherings on the dates they are investigating.
“Unfortunately, this necessarily means that I am extremely limited in what I can say about those events and it is not possible at present to provide a meaningful report setting out and analysing the extensive factual information I have been able to gather.”
She added that she had also decided not to publish factual accounts relating to events under investigation by police, because it would damage her overall findings.
Ms Gray wrote: “In respect of the gatherings that the Metropolitan Police has assessed as not reaching the threshold for criminal investigation, they have not requested any limitations be placed on the description of those events, however, I have decided not to publish factual accounts in relation to those four dates.
“I do not feel that I am able to do so without detriment to the overall balance of the findings.”
What did Sue Gray say in her report about No 10 and the Cabinet Office?
Ms Gray’s report criticised “failures of leadership and judgment” by parts of No 10 and the Cabinet Office.
It said: “Against the backdrop of the pandemic, when the Government was asking citizens to accept far-reaching restrictions on their lives, some of the behaviour surrounding these gatherings is difficult to justify.
“At least some of the gatherings in question represent a serious failure to observe not just the high standards expected of those working at the heart of Government but also of the standards expected of the entire British population at the time.
“At times it seems there was too little thought given to what was happening across the country in considering the appropriateness of some of these gatherings, the risks they presented to public health and how they might appear to the public.
“There were failures of leadership and judgment by different parts of No 10 and the Cabinet Office at different times. Some of the events should not have been allowed to take place. Other events should not have been allowed to develop as they did.”
How to read the Sue Gray report in full
Ms Gray’s report has been released on the Government’s website.
You can read the report in full here.
Will more of Sue Gray’s findings be published?
The Cabinet Office said Ms Gray had provided an “update” on her investigation to the Prime Minister.
This suggests it was not the full report she was preparing before the Metropolitan Police intervened.
Scotland Yard last week asked Ms Gray to make only “minimal reference” to gatherings being investigated by its officers.
Downing Street has so far refused to commit to publishing a fuller version of Ms Gray’s findings once the police investigation has concluded.
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