Sue Gray: What the Met police ‘Partygate’ investigation means for her report


he publication of Sue Gray’s full report into the allegations of boozy gatherings in Downing Street and Whitehall during lockdown will be delayed.

The senior civil servant was expected to give her findings to the Prime Minister this week, shortly before they were published.

However, while Ms Gray will continue her investigation, the announcement of a formal police investigation into ‘Partygate’ is expected to hold up publication of her report.

Here’s what we know so far…

How long has Sue Gray been investigating?

Ms Gray began investigating reports of several parties which were held against the Covid rules in December 8 last year.

The prime minister appointed Ms Gray, the second permanent secretary at the Department for Levelling Up, after cabinet secretary Simon Case recused himself from the investigation when it emerged a gathering had taken place in his office.

What does the police investigation mean?

A police investigation could take weeks or even months.

Met commissioner Cressida Dick has suggested detectives will not probe all of the gatherings reported to have taken place in No10.

But investigations will be carried out into “the most serious and flagrant type of breach” where individuals knew they were committing an offence or “ought to have known”.

Dame Cressida added “several events” that appeared to have taken place in Downing Street and Whitehall were not thought to have reached the threshold for criminal investigation.

The prime minister’s official spokesman said Ms Gray will pause investigating or publishing any party allegations that the police are inspecting.

However, she is free to publish other matters in her inquiry.

“As the terms of reference make clear, [the cabinet office] won’t publish anything that relates to the work of the police, there are a number of events and allegations that they have looked into that the police said don’t reach their threshold, which they are able to continue looking into,” he said.

“And it is my understanding that they will be able to publish detail about those events rather than ones which the police might be taking forward.”


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