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Sue Gray’s report ‘has pictures of Boris Johnson next to wine bottles at Downing Street lockdown parties’

Sue Gray’s inquiry will look into possible coronavirus rule-breaking parties held at the top of Government

Boris Johnson is set for the most difficult hours of his premiership with Sue Gray set to submit her report into lockdown parties - which reportedly includes pictures of the Prime Minister next to wine bottles.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said No 10 had still not received the Sue Gray report on Wednesday morning (26 January).

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However, the inquiry is expected to be finalised this week and handed to the Prime Minister in the coming hours.

What will be in Sue Gray’s report?

The senior civil servant’s inquiry will look into possible coronavirus rule-breaking parties held at the top of Government.

She is reportedly looking into allegations of at least 16 events.

Officials have also handed investigators pictures of parties in Downing Street - which includes images of Mr Johnson, Sky News reported.

The broadcaster said the pictures show people close together with wine bottles.

The Financial Times said the final report was likely to list Ms Gray’s conclusions.

However, the newspaper added that it would not include a “significant amount of evidence” from interviews, such as photos or messages.

When will Sue Gray’s report be published?

Sue Gray’s inquiry will look into possible coronavirus rule-breaking parties held at the top of Government (Getty Images and PA)

There has been much speculation about when the report will be published.

The inquiry is expected to be finalised this week, and there were reports suggesting that it could be published to coincide with Wednesday’s (26 January) Prime Minister’s Questions.

However, that now looks unlikely after Ms Truss confirmed that No 10 had not received the report as of this morning.

It had also initially seemed as though the Metropolitan Police’s inquiry into the Downing Street parties would delay its publication by weeks.

The Met, however, said it had no objections to the report being released sooner.

It now seems likely that the Prime Minister will receive the report on either Wednesday or Thursday and it should then be released to the public soon after.

What will the Met Police’s investigation look into?

The Met Police have launched their own probe into a series of events in No 10 after being passed information from the Gray inquiry.

Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said investigations into historic allegations of Covid rule-breaking were carried out in cases of the “most serious and flagrant” breaches and when it was considered those involved “ought to have known that what they were doing was an offence”.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said Boris Johnson would be willing to speak to the officers investigating the alleged breaches of coronavirus rules.

However, he said Mr Johnson believes he has not broken the law.

What has the reaction been in the Conservative party?

The Prime Minister’s allies rallied around their leader on Tuesday (25 January) with one Cabinet minister suggesting that ousting Mr Johnson would lead to a general election.

It comes after several Conservative MPs have publicly called for Mr Johnson to resign, but many others have said that they will wait for the publication of Ms Gray’s report before deciding whether to submit a letter of no-confidence.

Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg warned that a new incumbent in Downing Street would need to go to the polls to seek a fresh mandate.

He told BBC’s Newsnight: “It is my view that we have moved, for better or worse, to essentially a presidential system and that therefore the mandate is personal rather than entirely party, and that any Prime Minister would be very well advised to seek a fresh mandate.”

Mr Rees-Mogg, asked whether the Prime Minister should resign if there is a photograph of him at a drinks party in No 10, urged for people to wait for Ms Gray’s report to be published.

“Trying to speculate on bits of gossip and tittle-tattle around the report doesn’t really get us anywhere,” he added.

Northern Ireland minister Conor Burns defended Mr Johnson’s presence at a surprise birthday bash in the Cabinet room on June 19 2020 when social events indoors were banned, saying he had been “ambushed with a cake”.

Mr Burns said it was “not a premeditated, organised party”, adding: “They came to his office with a cake, they sang Happy Birthday, he was there for 10 minutes.

“I don’t think most people looking at that at home would characterise that as a party.”

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