Downing Street yet to see Sue Gray report on parties, says Liz Truss

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<span>Photograph: Mark Thomas/Rex/Shutterstock</span>
Photograph: Mark Thomas/Rex/Shutterstock

Downing Street has not yet seen the report by Sue Gray into alleged lockdown-breaking parties in government, Liz Truss has said.

Asked whether No 10 was still waiting to see the report by the senior civil servant, the foreign secretary said: “That’s correct. And, of course, it’s an independent report, it’s a matter for Sue Gray when she sends that report, when she’s completed her work.”

Boris Johnson also faces a parallel police investigation into whether any of the alleged gatherings breached lockdown laws in place at the time. That inquiry was announced by the Metropolitan police commissioner, Cressida Dick, on Tuesday.

Truss refused to say whether Johnson would resign if he was interviewed under caution as part of the police inquiry, saying she would not get into “speculation”.

“What I’m saying to you is that until we see the results of the investigation, the Sue Gray report and indeed the police investigation, it would be foolish to speculate,” she told Sky News.

“We have to wait and see what is the outcome of the police investigation, in the same way that we have to wait and see what is the outcome of the Sue Gray report,” added Truss, who confirmed that she only knew about the police action after Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, although the prime minister knew about it beforehand.

If Downing Street was yet to see the report on Wednesday morning, it means the publication could be pushed back until later in the week.

Truss also declined to comment on whether Johnson would have to resign if it was found he had misled parliament when assuring MPs in December that no rules had been broken.

“The prime minister has appeared before parliament,” she said. “He has apologised for what has happened. He’s admitted that mistakes were made. And I 100% support him and want him to continue as prime minister.

“I’m not going to prejudice the findings of the Sue Gray report, or indeed the police investigation that is now taking place about what happened. What I’m saying is the prime minister has apologised.”

Asked whether the Gray report would be published in full, Truss reiterated that the only commitment was to release its “findings”. She said: “We don’t know the contents of the report. So there could be, for example, security issues that mean part of it are problematic to publish.”

In a separate interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Truss was asked why Johnson had told parliament he knew nothing about parties, and replied: “I simply don’t know what has gone on. This is why the Sue Gray inquiry was commissioned, to give us a clear picture of what has happened.”

Pressed on whether she believed Johnson, Truss initially avoided the question, but eventually said: “I absolutely take the prime minister at his word.”

She refused to say whether Johnson should resign if fined by police: “I’m not going to answer hypothetical questions about a report that I haven’t seen, and an investigation that hasn’t been completed. I think that’s completely wrong.”

Related: The Gray report: five key questions it could answer

Former No 10 staffers have told the Guardian that the police inquiry will uncover evidence which has not yet been submitted to Gray. One senior Tory said the Scotland Yard inquiry was a “different ballgame”, adding: “Officials who don’t tell Sue Gray the whole truth will not hold back from the cops.”

Gray has interviewed witnesses and examined key evidence including security logs showing who was in Downing Street and when. She is also thought to have been shown photographs of parties, though Cabinet Office sources stressed these were unlikely to be included in the report.

It is understood the Met’s decision to investigate a number of parties in Downing Street and Whitehall was made on Sunday. Johnson had been informed in advance but opted not to tell his cabinet at their weekly meeting on Tuesday, leaving them to find out as they emerged and triggering consternation.

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