Boris Johnson endgame: Sue Grays report on Downing Street parties release date

Boris Johnson apology: Replacements ‘are worse’ says pundit

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An investigation has been launched into a string of alleged parties that took place in Downing Street throughout various coronavirus lockdowns and periods of heavy restrictions. Boris Johnson is currently facing calls from his own party, the opposition, and the countless people bereaved throughout the pandemic to resign.

But the Prime Minister is currently adamant that he won’t leave – but apologised for his involvement in the latest scandal to rock his shaky Government.

An email from one of Mr Johnson’s top civil servants inviting Downing Street staff to a drinks party in the garden at the height of the first lockdown was exposed earlier this week by ITV.

The email read: “Hi all, After what has been an incredibly busy period it would be nice to make the most of the lovely weather and have some socially distanced drinks in the No10 garden this evening.

“Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!”

READ MORE: Downing Street party: Three things Boris Johnson must explain

Just an hour earlier, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden had given a Downing Street news briefing, telling people they could “meet one other person from outside their household” in a public place outside, providing social distancing was maintained.

Today the Prime Minister apologised for attending the party, and said: ”All I ask is that Sue Gray be allowed to complete her inquiry into that day and several others so that the full facts can be established.”

But that hasn’t stopped senior Tories calling for their party leader to step aside, with Scottish Conservative’s leader Douglas Ross and senior backbencher William Wragg calling on the Prime Minister to quit.

Whether or not Mr Johnson realises now may be the time to step down, the outcome of an investigation into the series of parties could spell the end for Boris Johnson’s time in Government.

Who is conducting the investigation?

Sue Gray, a senior cabinet office employee and long serving civil servant, is conducting the investigation.

Ms Gray has a strong reputation in her role and has worked under both Conservative and Labour governments.

In 2015, as the government’s director general of its propriety and ethics team, she was described as “the most powerful person you’ve never heard of”.

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When is the investigation due?

A spokesperson for the Cabinet Office told “the findings of the investigations will be made public in due course.”

According to the Terms of Reference published by the Cabinet Office, the “primary purpose will be 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.

“If required, the investigations will establish whether individual disciplinary action is warranted.”

If the parties were found to be illegal, the case could be referred to the Met Police – which has controversially so far refused to investigate all allegations of wrongdoing in Number 10.

The terms continues: “As with all internal investigations, if during the course of the work any evidence emerges of behaviour that is potentially a criminal offence, the matter will be referred to the police and the Cabinet Office’s work may be paused.

“Matters relating to adherence to the law are properly for the police to investigate and the Cabinet Office will liaise with them as appropriate.”

The findings of the investigation will also be made public.

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