Politics

Sue Gray report confirms police are investigating alleged party in Number 10 flat

Sue Gray's stripped-back report has revealed exactly which gatherings are being investigated by the Met Police.

Police outside Downing Street in 2015. Image: Phil Dolby

Police are investigating an alleged gathering in the Number 10 Downing Street flat, Sue Gray’s report has confirmed.

The gathering is said to have taken place on November 13 2020, and is one of 12 gatherings held across eight dates currently being investigated.

Gray’s report, released in a stripped-down version, does not pass judgement on whether any of the gatherings broke Covid rules, but bemoans a failure of leadership in Downing Street.

“There were failures of leadership and judgment by different parts of No 10 and the Cabinet Office at different times,” Gray wrote.

“Some of the events should not have been allowed to take place. Other events should not have been allowed to develop as they did.”

The prime minister is due to make a statement to parliament at 3.30pm, after receiving the “update” on Gray’s investigation at 11.20am.

The report revealed that only four of the alleged gatherings Gray covered are not under police investigation – including a Christmas party at the Department of Education, and the online Christmas quiz in Downing Street.

However, gatherings held on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral, as well as another gathering in the Cabinet Room on Johnson’s birthday in June 2020 are under police investigation.

The report did not give details of individual gatherings, or what Gray uncovered during her investigations, but made general comments on the failings involved in the gatherings.

Although the word “gathering” is used 57 times in Gray’s report, “party” is mentioned only once when providing a summary of the rules at the time, and “alcohol” only twice.

“At least some of the gatherings in question represent a serious failure to observe not just the high standards expected of those working at the heart of Government but also of the standards expected of the entire British population at the time,” Gray wrote.

The senior civil servant recommended departments put in place their own alcohol policies and called for reform of management structures in Number 10.

The Met requested that the report include minimal mention of events it is investigating.

Cressida Dick, the commissioner of the Met, last week announced the police would be investigating some events in Downing Street and across Whitehall, despite the force’s initial refusal to look into the retrospective breaches.

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