Met receive partygate material as Boris Johnson to be given 'redacted' Gray report

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Met receive partygate material as Boris Johnson to be given 'redacted' Gray report
Met receive partygate material as Boris Johnson to be given 'redacted' Gray report

THE Metropolitan Police have now received material requested from the Cabinet Office to support their partygate investigation as reports suggest that Boris Johnson is to be given a redacted version of the Sue Gray inquiry.

Scotland Yard said officers would now examine the material “without fear or favour” to establish whether any rules were broken, adding that it had not delayed the publication of the Sue Gray report.

Commander Catherine Roper, who leads the Met’s Central Specialist Crime Command, said the timing of the document’s release was a matter for the Cabinet Office.

READ MORE: 'Utterly corrupt': Met refuse to say why they won't probe Tory 'cash for honours' culture

Downing Street declined to comment on the Met statement.

She said the force had asked for “minimal reference” to be made in the report to the “relevant events”, in order to “protect the integrity of the police investigation” and be “as fair as possible to those who are subject to it”.

“This will only be necessary until these matters are concluded, and is to give detectives the most reliable picture of what happened at these events. We intend to complete our investigations promptly, fairly and proportionately,” she said.

The force previously argued the constraints on the Cabinet Office report into “partygate” were necessary to “avoid any prejudice to our investigation”.

The National: Sue Gray is the senior civil servant who led an investigation into alleged lockdown-breaking parties across Downing Street and Whitehall
The National: Sue Gray is the senior civil servant who led an investigation into alleged lockdown-breaking parties across Downing Street and Whitehall

Sue Gray is the senior civil servant who led an investigation into alleged lockdown-breaking parties across Downing Street and Whitehall

Meanwhile, it has been reported that a redacted version of the Gray inquiry report will be published next week.

The redactions will be in line with requests from the Met to not include details of the incidents they are investigating and the full findings will then be published when the force has finished its work and fines are issued.

It is understood that Johnson will be given the redacted version within the coming hours or days but it will be published next week when Parliament is sitting.

In response to the news that the report is to be given to Downing Street soon, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford MP said: “No-one will accept a Westminster cover-up.

“If the UK Government refuses to publish the full unredacted report it will prove, yet again, that Westminster is utterly corrupt and broken beyond repair.

“It won’t save Boris Johnson’s skin. It will only add to the calls for him to go.”

The new statement issued by the Met on Friday evening contains no mention of the term “prejudice”.

Roper added: “We have not delayed this report and the timing of its release is a matter for the Cabinet Office inquiry team.”

She said the offences under investigation, where proven, would normally result in the issuing of a fixed penalty notice.

​READ MORE: The REAL Scottish Politics: Partygate report presents one big problem for Boris Johnson

The force faced criticism from legal experts for saying that publication of the full Gray report would "prejudice" their investigation, despite Scotland Yard indicating that they would only be investigating offences that would lead to fines rather than criminal prosecution.

Responding to the fact the Met were indicating the Sue Gray report could prejudice their investigation, Nazir Afzal, a former chief Crown prosecutor, said on Twitter: “This is absolute nonsense from the Met Police. A purely factual report by Sue Gray cannot possibly prejudice a police investigation.

“They just have to follow the evidence, of which the report will be a part.”

Roper added: “As the Commissioner said, we will not be giving a running commentary but we will continue to update when significant progress is made in the investigative process.”

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