Sue Gray report: Police investigating 'gathering' inside Boris Johnson's private flat

Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street, Westminster, for the House of Commons, where he will make a statement to MPs on the Sue Gray report after she provided an update on her investigations earlier today. Picture date: Monday January 31, 2022. Downing Street has said the limited version of the partygate inquiry that Sue Gray has handed to Boris Johnson will be published on Monday afternoon, but would not commit to publishing a fuller report after police have finished investigating. See PA story POLITICS Johnson. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
A slimmed down version of Sue Gray's report into rule breaking in Downing Street during lockdown was published on Monday, and revealed that police are investigating a gathering in Boris Johnson's private flat. (PA)

The Metropolitan Police is investigating a "gathering" in Boris Johnson's personal Downing Street flat over a potential breach of lockdown laws, it has emerged.

The development was revealed in a slimmed down version of civil servant Sue Gray's report into numerous alleged breaches of lockdown in Downing Street since the start of the COVID pandemic.

Gray’s full investigation has been sidelined while the Metropolitan Police looks into 12 separate alleged breaches of the rules in 2020 and 2021. Officers are reviewing in total more than 300 images and over 500 pages of information passed to officers by the Gray inquiry.

This includes looking at two events where the prime minister has already admitted being present and an additional one, on 13 November, reportedly held in the private flat he shares with his wife, Carrie Johnson, in Downing Street.

The PM's former chief adviser Dominic Cummings first claimed in December that a party took place in the PM's flat on this date.

Watch: The key findings from redacted 'partygate' report

Speaking in parliament on 8 December, the prime minister denied that there was a party in his flat.

Labour MP Catherine West asked Johnson: "Will the prime minister tell the House whether there was a party in Downing Street on 13 November?"

The PM replied: "No, but I am sure that whatever happened, the guidance was followed and the rules were followed at all times."

On Monday, Johnson again repeatedly refused to tell the Commons whether he was at the party – the night former aides Cummings and Lee Cain left their roles.

Labour MP Chris Bryant told the House: "A leopard doesn't change its spots. If he won't correct the record today, there's nothing accidental, it's deliberate," he said

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Former adviser to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Dominic Cummings speaks to the media outside his home on January 19, 2022 in London, England. In a recent blog post, Boris Johnson's former adviser said the prime minister was warned that a party held at No 10 in May of 2020 was a social event against Covid rules at the time. The prime minister has insisted he thought it was a work event. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Boris Johnson's former adviser Dominic Cummings has alleged there were more parties at Downing Street during lockdown, including one in the PM's private flat. (Getty Images)

The prime minister faced an uncomfortable two hours in front of MPs - including fresh calls to resign - after the inquiry criticised “failures of leadership and judgment”

Johnson insisted he was “making changes” to Downing Street and the Cabinet Office, including by creating an Office of the Prime Minister with a permanent secretary to lead No 10.

But he faced a hostile response from some on his own side and the threat of a vote of no confidence has not yet been defeated.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said that Johnson "is a man without shame" for not resigning over Gray's initial findings.

He said the PM and everyone implicated in the scandal are "degrading themselves and their offices" and have frayed the "bond of trust between government and the public".

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer responds to a statement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to MPs in the House of Commons on the Sue Gray report. Picture date: Monday January 31, 2022. (Photo by House of Commons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Sir Keir Starmer said the PM "is a man without shame" for not resigning over Sue Gray's initial findings (House of Commons/PA Images via Getty Images)

Gray could not publish the full report she had prepared due to an intervention by the Met, who announced last week that they were launching a criminal investigation into alleged lockdown breaches.

Scotland Yard last week asked Gray to make only “minimal reference” to gatherings being investigated by its officers.

Read more: No 10 'vetoed bereavement bubbles' weeks before party on eve of Prince Philip funeral

The limited version of the report criticised a “serious failure” to observe the high standards expected of those working at the heart of government and made some broad findings about “failures of leadership and judgment”.

Making clear that the police investigation prevented more substantial findings being presented, Gray wrote: “As a result of the Metropolitan Police’s investigations, and so as not to prejudice the police investigative process, they have told me that it would only be appropriate to make minimal reference to the gatherings on the dates they are investigating.

“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.”

Watch: Dominic Cummings asked about Sue Gray investigation