The findings of Sue Gray’s report have led to questions about who – if anyone – might be in the crosshairs following the partygate scandal investigation.
The official insisted that senior Downing Street leaders – both political and official – must “take responsibility” for the culture of the party during the confinements linked to the COVID.
The long-awaited report, which also details karaoke, wine spills, sick helpers and other rudeness to security staff and cleaners, reveals behavior in Downing Street in 2020 and 2021 when COVID-19 restrictions were in place. place across the country.
Sky News is looking at who might be in trouble after the report is published.
Some of the most damning evidence in Ms Gray’s report involves Boris Johnson’s former senior adviser Martin Reynolds, whose name appears 24 times in the 60-page document.
The report reveals that Mr Reynolds bragged “we seem to have gotten away with it” with the BYOB party in May 2020.
And it shows the then Prime Minister’s Principal Private Secretary had been warned to invite some 200 people for drinks in the garden of Number 10.
Politics Live: Damning Sue Gray Report Released
At the time, covid the restrictions banned outdoor gatherings with multiple people from other households.
After an email was sent on behalf of Mr Reynolds urging staff to ‘bring your own alcohol’ to the event, then communications director Lee Cain emailed him , saying it was “a bit of a communication risk in today’s environment”.
A special adviser also sent a WhatsApp message to Mr Reynolds noting that the daily COVID briefing would end at drinks time, saying it would be helpful if people ‘not walked around waving bottles of wine “.
Mr Reynolds replied: “I will do my best.”
In a WhatsApp message to the special adviser apparently after the event, Mr Reynolds wrote: ‘Good luck – a full non-story but better than them focusing on our drinks (which we seem to have gotten out of).’
Mr Reynolds has now left number 10 and has been named as the next UK Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
The Gray report includes a series of photos of Mr Johnson at rallies, including the surprise Cabinet Room birthday party in June 2020, for which he was fined.
He is seen with Cabinet Secretary Simon Case and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, with sandwiches, juice and what appears to be Estrella lager and in a photo Mr Johnson is seen lifting a can of beer in the air.
There are also images of Mr Johnson raising a glass of wine during a departure for his former spin doctor Lee Cain on November 13, 2020.
The report highlights that Mr Johnson stayed “shortly” at two events, including a gathering of 15-20 people in the Number 10 press office area in November 2020, where alcohol was drunk.
In response to the report, Mr Johnson said he ‘briefly attended’ Downing Street lockdown rallies but did not know at the time that they “lasted much longer than necessary”.
It remains to be seen whether the conclusions of the Gray report will provoke an influx of letters of censure from Tory MPs.
Cabinet Secretary Simon Case was initially responsible for investigating the events of partygate but was forced into seclusion after admitting an event took place outside his own office in December 2020.
The Gray report shows he attended the Prime Minister’s birthday meeting in June 2020 ‘for a short time’ after arriving early for a meeting in the Cabinet Room.
While Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak were fined for attending the event, Mr Case escaped a fine as part of the Metropolitan Police investigation.
Mr Case also attended a rally at 10 Downing Street in June 2020 involving speeches and booze for a civil servant, according to the Gray report.
The Cabinet Secretary was said to have been lined up to carry the box when Ms Gray published her findings.
However, Mr Johnson’s allies took the unusual step this morning of making it clear he would not quit and be sacked.
Main results: karaoke machine, drunkenness and panic button triggered
Everything you need to know about every anti-lockdown party
The senior official has been criticized for abandoning her investigation into the “Abba party” organized in the apartment of the Prime Minister in November 2020.
She found that Mr Johnson had attended the mid-lockdown meeting, along with five special advisers, but had halted his work having gathered only ‘limited’ information when Met Police began their investigation.
There was no mention in his report of The Winner Takes It All and other Abba songs allegedly heard from the Downing Street residence following the announcement of Dominic Cummings’ departure as chief adviser to following a bitter struggle for power.
The Prime Minister’s wife, Carrie Johnson, was said to have been at the event with ‘food and alcohol’ in the flat during England’s second national lockdown.
Mr Johnson was not fined by police for the incident and he insisted it had been ‘thoroughly investigated’.
But Mr Cummings slammed Ms Gray’s decision not to fully investigate the gathering, in a tweet featuring an image from the cinematic comedy The Naked Gun.
Alongside a photo of actor Leslie Nielsen standing in front of a burning building with the words ‘move on, nothing to see here’, Mr Cummings wrote in the caption: ‘So Sue Gray’s inquiry into the party ABBA arrested ‘because police are starting’, cops not investigating, SG says it’s ‘disproportionate’ to investigate now, 0 of those who saw/heard part being questioned.”
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