Everything you need to know about the Downing Street party inquiry
Boris Johnson has reportedly been interviewed by Sue Gray as part of the investigation into a number of parties at Downing Street, as of a further Covid-rule breaking gathering emerged last night.
Mr Johnson is understood to have “shared what he knows” with senior civil servant Sue Gray as she prepares to publish her report in coronavirus rule flouting as soon as this week, reported the Daily Telegraph.
The revelations of multiple alleged breaches of the rules has left Mr Johnson’s premiership under severe pressure and led to mounting discomfort from backbench Tory MPs.
The new week has not started any better for the beleaguered prime minister as according to reports in the Mirror Mr Johnson is said to have attended a leaving do before Christmas 2020 during which he gave a speech to mark the departure of his defence adviser Captain Steve Higham.
In a bid to survive the scandal, reports have suggested Mr Johnson could overhaul his top team and announce a raft of policy announcements, including putting the military in charge of preventing small boats from crossing the Channel.
Nadhim Zahawi: PM is focused on the big issues
Nadhim Zahawi said today that Boris Johnson “is focused on dealing with the big issues”.
The Education Secretary told Times Radio: “If you think again about the big calls, whether it’s Brexit, the vaccine programme which the Prime Minister very much focused on and I led the deployment, and of course the call on Omicron pre-Christmas… on the big decisions, he’s made the right call.
“Of course, we’re all human, we make mistakes. And when he made a mistake, he came to Parliament and apologised for it.”
Mr Zahawi said he would have acted differently and told staff to “get back to your desk” if he had discovered a party.
Joe Middleton17 January 2022 08:26
Boris Johnson ‘questioned by Sue Gray’ for partygate investigation
Boris Johnson has reportedly been interviewed as part of the investigation into allegations of parties at Downing Street.
The prime minister is said to have “shared what he knows” with senior civil servant Sue Gray about alleged parties in Downing Street as she prepares to publish her report into claims of coronavirus rule flouting as soon as this week, the Daily Telegraph reported.
According to the Institute for Government (IoG), Ms Gray‘s final document is “set to be a largely factual account about parties that were held in Downing Street”.
Previous reports have suggested the inquiry was expected to find no evidence of criminality but that the investigation could censure Mr Johnson for a lack of judgment and criticise the culture in Downing Street.
Joe Middleton17 January 2022 08:16
Boris Johnson accused of attending leaving do and giving speech in December 2020
Boris Johnson has been accused of giving a speech at a leaving do for his defence adviser in December 2020 when Covid restrictions were in force.
The prime minister has been embroiled in an ongoing scandal over a number of parties that were held at Downing Street while the public was being told to obey social distancing rules.
According to The Mirror, Mr Johnson attended Captain Steve Higham’s leaving party “for a few minutes” in which he gave a speech “to thank him for his service”. The newspaper said a “small number of No 10 staff briefly said goodbye”.
Lamiat Sabin has the details.
Joe Middleton17 January 2022 08:07