Sue Gray’s ‘name and shame’ calls to No10 staff

·3-min read
Sue Gray’s ‘name and shame’ calls to No10 staff

Senior No10 staff who may be “named and shamed” in Sue Gray’s long-awaited partygate report are being contacted over the weekend ahead of the publication of the findings, which is expected early next week.

Scotland Yard on Thursday completed its inquiry into lockdown-busting gatherings in Downing Street and across Whitehall, paving the way for the final publication of the senior civil servant’s detailed report.

The Evening Standard understands junior staff will not be named but there may be references to senior civil servants and those holding higher positions.

Those named or referred to are being contacted this weekend.

Any complaints could hold up the publication, which is expected to be on Tuesday or Wednesday.

There are also still ongoing questions about whether any of the hundreds of photographs submitted to the police inquiry will be published alongside Ms Gray’s findings.

It is understood that any pictures showing people will have their faces blurred to protect their identities.

But photos submitted in the final document are likely to be less damning and could simply show empty offices to convey the size of rooms that events took place in.

No10 has said that the Prime Minister will not seek to delay the publication of the report and it will be released within 24 hours of his office receiving it.

He has vowed to answer questions about its content in the House of Commons.

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab told LBC it would be Ms Gray’s “prerogative” when asked about “naming and shaming” those who were issued with police fines, or the publication of any pictures submitted to her team.

He said: “In terms of what happened at No10, the PM of course, based on the interim Sue Gray report, has already apologised. He recognised that things weren’t right and he overhauled the No10 arrangement.

“We of course await the final Sue Gray report, that will be published as soon as possible when we receive it and the [Prime Minister] will go to the House of Commons.”

When asked if Downing Street was attempting to prevent individual names being published in the report, Mr Raab reiterated that it was entirely a matter for the police and Ms Gray.

“I think that these are matters, who is identified, for Sue Gray and the Met”, he told the BBC.

“What we have said is that it’s right that if there’s a minister who has been fined, of course there needs to be transparency around that. I think that’s right.”

The police inquiry into the partygate saga ended with the Met announcing 126 fines for events breaching lockdown rules on eight separate dates.

Altogether some 83 people were given fixed penalty notices, which is believed to make No10 the country’s most fined workplace.

Mr Johnson and his wife, Carrie, received one £50 fine each for a surprise birthday gathering held for the Prime Minister in Downing Street.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak was also handed a penalty for attending the event on June 19, 2020.

But they were not among those getting more fines announced by police on Thursday, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman confirmed.

The inquiry by Durham police into “beergate” is also placing pressure on the Prime Minister, with Sir Keir Starmer saying he will resign if he is fined for having a drink and a curry with staff in a constituency office in Durham on April 30 last year.

When asked if Mr Johnson had “got away with partygate”, Mr Raab said: “I don’t think anyone would say that after the recent months of the commentary, accountability and transparency. I think what I would say is that it’s welcome that the police inquiry has concluded, that’s important for transparency and it’s important for accountability.”

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