London politics news: Sue Gray ‘sent No10 party photos featuring PM’ as police discuss report release


ue Gray has been sent photographs of Downing Street parties which show Boris Johnson and others next to wine, according to reports.

Reports of the Downing Street party photographs first emerged on Sky News.

It comes as Downing Street has said discussions are taking place between Ms Gray’s “partygate” inquiry team and the Met over what could be published from her investigation report.

The news emerged on a day of confusion over when her report into lockdown parties in Downing Street will be released, following the Met’s announcement that detectives will probe the widely reported gatherings while Covid restrictions were in place.

Speaking to MPs on Tuesday, Boris Johnson said he “welcomes” the police investigation.

Downing Street has signalled Mr Johnson is ready to hand over his mobile phone, documents and to be interviewed if asked to by Scotland Yard.

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That is all for tonight. Thank you for reading.


Party report should be published tomorrow, says Conservative MP

Conservative Andrew Bridgen said he hoped Sue Gray’s report into allegations of Downing Street lockdown parties would be published on Wednesday.

The MP for North West Leicestershire told Channel 4 News the conclusions of the civil servant’s inquiry should be published “unredacted”.

Mr Bridgen added: “I think the sooner the report comes out now the better, if it is completed, because we can’t sit under this cloud, paralysing the Prime Minister, paralysing the Government.”


Party allegations need ‘perspective’, says veteran MP

Veteran Conservative MP Crispin Blunt speculated that coronavirus rules were broken in “most homes” as he called for allegations of rule-breaking in Downing Street to be placed in the context of an administration working to control the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s PM programme, the Reigate MP said: “We’ve lost our sense of perspective on this.

“I think everybody needs to take a step back and try to put themselves in a situation the centre of Government was in over the course of 2020, the fact we very nearly lost our Prime Minister who was very close to being put on a ventilator and then his prospects would have been pretty thin indeed – and that would have been a first class leadership crisis for the whole country.

“And you will know how hard civil servants work at the centre of Government, as they are working every hour God sends combating a completely unprecedented public health crisis for our country.”

Mr Blunt said it was his “departure point” that the allegations levelled at Boris Johnson were not enough to topple a Prime Minister.


Trust in PM at an ‘all-time low’, says Keir Starmer

Sir Keir Starmer said trust in Boris Johnson is at an “all-time low”.

Speaking to broadcasters, the Labour leader said some members of the Cabinet need to “look themselves in the mirror” and ask why they are still supporting the Prime Minister.

He called for the Sue Gray report to be published “in full”.

Asked if he trusts the Prime Minister and No 10 to do this, Sir Keir said: “I think trust in Boris Johnson is at an all-time low.

“But we need to see the report in full and frankly, some of his Cabinet now need to look themselves in the mirror and ask themselves why they’re still supporting this Prime Minister.

“There’s a Metropolitan Police investigation into the goings on in Downing Street. It’s time that some of those Cabinet members spoke out and said we’re not tolerating this any longer.”


PM in party photos passed to Sue Gray, according to reports

Photographs showing Boris Johnson sharing wine bottles with other people in close attendance at a party have been passed to Sue Gray, Sky News has reported.

Her report into parties in Downing Street and Whitehall that may have broken COVID rules could be published as soon as tomorrow.


Boris may have to resign ‘eventually’ admits Tory peer

A Conservative former minister has suggested Boris Johnson might “eventually have to resign”, but argued there are more important things happening in the world at the moment.

Lord Robathan was heckled by opposition peers after claiming the British public is “not terribly concerned” about the party allegations.

He added in the House of Lords: “I care very much whether the Prime Minister lies, as it happens, because I think prime ministers should have integrity.

“However, I think the instability at the top that is being caused by this furore is deeply worrying when we have geopolitical events in Ukraine, and frankly I think most people would like to see the Government getting on with it.

“Perhaps, indeed, the Prime Minister will eventually have to resign but I think more important is what’s happening in Ukraine and elsewhere.”

But Conservative Lord Cormack said: “There’s great concern around the country and the graphic photograph of the Queen alone at her husband’s funeral juxtaposed with other pictures did cause a great deal of disquiet.”


Minister refuses to ‘speculate’ on when Sue Gray’s report will be published

A Cabinet Office minister has declined to say when the Sue Gray inquiry into Downing Street party allegations will be published.

Lord True, asked about the timetable for publication, told peers he was “not going to speculate on the timing of the progress” of either Ms Gray’s investigation or the Metropolitan Police’s work.

He noted those two inquiries “must be allowed to run their course”.

Lord True earlier said the “findings will be made public” from Ms Gray’s inquiry, but did not state whether or not this meant the full report would be released.


Discussions about publication of Gray report ‘ongoing’

Downing Street said the discussions between Sue Gray’s inquiry and the Met would assess what could be published from her report.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “There are discussions still ongoing between the investigations team and the police.

“I am not privy to those discussions, as I think you’ll appreciate.

“That still needs to be worked through, both in relation to what may or may not be published and the ongoing work of both the police and the (Gray) investigation.”


Breaking: UK reports highest Covid deaths since March

The UK reported a further 439 Covid deaths on Tuesday – the highest daily toll since last February.

A further 94,326 cases were reported, bringing the total to 16,047,716.


Sturgeon to ease WFH guidance for Scots

Covid guidance that required Scots to work from home where possible is being ditched in favour of hybrid working, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

The First Minister said the “significantly improved situation”, with cases of the virus falling, meant the changes could be made.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Instead of recommending home working whenever practical, the new guidance will pave the way for a phased return to the office.

“It will recommend that, from Monday January 31, employers should consider implementing hybrid working, following appropriate guidance, with workers spending some time in the office and some time at home.”


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