Partygate: Boris Johnson ‘urgently explains’ why he met Sue Gray

Boris Johnson, Sue Gray, door 10 Downing Street. Labor wants Boris Johnson to explain why he met Sue Gray before her Partygate report is due, now that the Met's investigation is complete.

The meeting between Sue Gray and the Prime Minister was reportedly a “progress report” (Images: EPA)

Labor has urged Boris Johnson to “urge to explain” why he had a “secret meeting” with Sue Gray to discuss her Partygate report.

The Metropolitan Police have completed their investigation into lockdown busting parties at Downing Street and Whitehall, handing out a total of 126 Covid fines – making them the most heavily penalized place in the country.

Despite only receiving a fine, Mr Johnson is said to be among dozens of No10 officers who have been warned they will face criticism in Ms Gray’s report next week.

It has now emerged that the Prime Minister had a private meeting with Ms Gray during the drafting.

A Whitehall source insists its contents have not been discussed, but the news has led many to question the report’s independence.

Labor Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said: “Boris Johnson urgently needs to explain why he held a secret meeting with Sue Gray to discuss her report, even though he claimed her investigation was fully independent.

“Public confidence in the process has already been exhausted and people deserve to know the truth.

The Met Police outside No 10 Downing Street. Labor want Boris Johnson to explain why he met Sue Gray before her Partygate report is due, now that the Met's investigation is complete.

Downing Street and Whitehall are now the most-covid-fined places in the country (Image: EPA)
The PM was fined for his birthday party in 2020 – where he was ‘ambushed with a cake’ (Image: EPA)
Many are concerned Sue Gray’s report – expected next week – is not independent (Image: Rex)

“This is a Prime Minister unable to take responsibility for the rotten culture he created at Downing Street or do the decent thing.

“The Sue Gray report must be released in its entirety with all supporting evidence.”

Adam Wagner, a human rights lawyer who specializes in breaking lockdown rules, said the document “never was an independent report”.

He tweeted: “It’s an internal report. This is not a judgment on Sue Gray, it is a statement of fact – she is an employee investigating her direct reports.’

A No 10 spokesman said: “The Prime Minister commissioned the inquiry led by Sue Gray and has been clear throughout that it should be fully independent.

“As he reiterated today, the decision on what to release and when is entirely up to the investigative team and they will respond in Parliament once it is finalized.”

There have been calls to Scotland Yard to explain how the Prime Minister was fined for his assembly on his 56th birthday in June 2020, when indoor mixing was banned.

Former Chief Public Prosecutor, Lord Ken Macdonald, warned “it is very difficult for us to disentangle exactly how the police investigation went and how fair it was”.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think, without the police providing an explanation, it’s very difficult for us to understand why they came to the conclusions they did.”

Those fined have not been identified by the Met, but they could be named by Sue Gray – in its report, which is expected to be released next week.

The Met confirmed it has spent £460,000 on its investigation.

A team of 12 detectives examined 345 documents including emails, door logs, diary entries, witness statements, 204 questionnaires and 510 photos and CCTV images.

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Justin Scacco

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