‘Failures of leadership’ inside No 10 over partygate says Sue Gray report
Sue Gray’s long-awaited report into parties in Downing Street has said that there is no need to wait for the police to investigate to know that the gatherings within Downing St and elsewhere should not have taken place.
The report said that the public “rose to the challenge” of the Covid pandemic but that there were “failures of leadership” inside No 10.
“As I have noted, a number of these gatherings should not have been allowed to take place or to develop in the way that they did,” she said.
“There is significant learning to be drawn from these events which must be addressed immediately across Government.
“This does not need to wait for the police investigations to be concluded.”
The report has not been published in full because the most serious allegations are being investigated by the police. Sue Gray re-wrote it after the Met Police asked for only “minimal reference” to be made to events they are looking at, in order to “avoid any prejudice to our investigation”.
Of the 16 events mentioned by Sue Gray, 12 have been passed on to the police – including a gathering in Boris Johnson’s flat above Number 10.
“Unfortunately, this necessarily means that I am extremely limited in what I can say about those events and it is not possible at present to provide a meaningful report setting out and analysing the extensive factual information I have been able to gather,” she said.
But the report adds: “Against the backdrop of the pandemic, when the Government was asking citizens to accept far-reaching restrictions on their lives, some of the behaviour surrounding these gatherings is difficult to justify.
“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.
“There were failures of leadership and judgment by different parts of No 10 and the Cabinet Office at different times. Some of the events should not have been allowed to take place. Other events should not have been allowed to develop as they did.”
Many Conservative MPs had said they are waiting for the findings of the report before deciding whether to put in letters to trigger a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
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