Boris Johnson has promised MP’s that the entire official investigation into the parties held in Downing Street during lockdown will be published.
He has added that he does not know when Sue Gray, the senior civil servant conducting the investigation, would release her findings.
Going on to say –
“We’ve just got to let the independent inquiries go on,”.
The results of Sue Gray’s investigations are currently undergoing checks by human resources experts and lawyers before they are handed to the government.
The prime minister has announced that once he has Ms Gray’s report, he will make a statement to the House of Commons.
Labour MP’s have demanded that the entire investigation be released, including the names of individuals in attendance to the parties, alongside the names of the organisers. Labour wants to ensure that opposition parties are given enough time to scrutinise the results before they are discussed.
Sir Keir Starmer said –
“We will pursue every option to make sure that report is out in full.”
The families of those who had died during the pandemic were “entitled to… the full truth from the prime minister”.
The Metropolitan Police have launched a separate inquiry into the potential law-breaking parties at Downing Street.
Boris Johnson had given a previous apology in regard to the infamous “bring-your-own-boose” party held in the No 10 garden on the 20th of May 2020. Stating that he believed it to be purely a ‘work event.’
Further reports of a surprise birthday party held for the prime minister in the Cabinet Room in June 2020 have also surfaced recently.
Sue Gray has spent many weeks compiling her investigation on the events that took place on government sites whilst covid restrictions were in place.
Whilst on a visit to North Wales, the PM was asked if the government would publish the investigation in full. To which he replied, “Of course”.
Adding that, he “completely” stood by what he had said in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
This could have been in reference to the exchange between the PM and the opposition leader Kier Starmer when Mr Starmer said –
“The prime minister’s continual defence is ‘Wait for the Sue Gray report’. On the 8th of December he told this House, ‘I will place a copy of the report in the library of the House of Commons.”
“His spokesperson has repeatedly stated that means the full report, not parts of the report, not a summary of the report, not an edited copy. So, can the prime minister confirm that he will publish the full Sue Gray report as he receives it?”
The Prime Minister replied –
“We’ve got to leave the report to the independent investigator, as he knows, of course when I receive it, I will do exactly what I said.”
The aim of Sue Gray’s investigation is to –
“establish swiftly a general understanding of the nature of the gatherings, including attendance, the setting and the purpose, with reference to adherence to the guidance in place at the time”.
Official guidance on the investigation states that –
“findings of the investigations will be made public”, but it adds: “Following the long-standing practice of successive administrations, any specific HR action against individuals will remain confidential.”
If it is required, Ms Gray has the ability to “establish whether individual disciplinary action is warranted” against any involved in the Downing Street gatherings.
She has already referred some matters to the Met Police, whose separate inquiry is still underway. Ms Gray is entitled to share any matters with the police if “any evidence emerges of behaviour that is potentially a criminal offence”.
Labour, the SNP and the Liberal Democrats have all called for Mr Johnson to resign.