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BORIS JOHNSON insisted today that he will not try to block names appearing in the Sue Gray partygate report, amid concerns that people could be “left in the dark.”
The Prime Minister said he was “very grateful” for the Metropolitan Police’s investigation, which concluded with 126 fines for lockdown breaches in Downing Street and Whitehall.
There were demands for answers from Scotland Yard over how Mr Johnson escaped with just one fixed-penalty notice despite being believed to have been present at multiple rule-breaking events.
The PM was reportedly told by Scotland Yard that he would only be investigated for two out of six gatherings.
Potentially damaging further details, including the names of some of those who attended gatherings, will be published in the report from senior civil servant Ms Gray.
Mr Johnson declined to apologise again for the rule-breaking today during a visit to Hilltop Honey’s factory in Newtown in Powys, Wales.
Asked if No 10 would be blocking any names from appearing, he said: “That will be entirely up to Sue Gray and I’ll be looking forward very much to seeing what she has to say – and fingers crossed that will be pretty soon next week.”
Officials impacted by the Gray inquiry, including those to be named, are being written to so they can have a chance to respond before the current draft is finalised for publication.
There has also been no explanation as to why Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, who had to recuse himself from running the Civil Service inquiry after reports of a Cabinet Office Christmas party surfaced, has not been fined.
Former director of public prosecutions Lord Ken Macdonald warned that “it’s very difficult for us to disentangle exactly how the police investigation has proceeded and how fair it’s been.”
“We remain very much in the dark about who was involved, who organised the parties, and who was responsible,” Lord Macdonald, who led the Crown Prosecution Service from 2003-2008, said.
Safiah Ngah of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice said: “Conservative MPs promised they would make their mind up about the Prime Minister when the Sue Gray report is released.
“There is no reason for that report to be delayed any longer.
“Every day they do not act they allow a man who gaslit us and lied to the faces of the bereaved … remain [in] the highest office in the land.”
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