No 10 says Sue Gray will be given chance to publish full partygate findings
A few minutes ago Downing Street issued a statement saying Sue Gray will be given chance to publish her findings in full once the police inquiry is over. A No 10 spokesperson said:
Given the police have said they are investigating a number of events, it would not be appropriate to comment further while the Met’s investigation is ongoing.
But, at the end of the process, the prime minister will ask Sue Gray to update her work in light of what is found. He will publish that update.
However, the prime minister is clear we must not judge an ongoing investigation and his focus now is on addressing the general findings.
This is a significant shift from the position set out earlier, at the morning and afternoon lobby briefings, and by the PM in the chamber. Johnson, who is due to address his MPs in private later this evening, clearly realised that failing to commit to the publication of the Gray report in full after the police inquiry is over was unsustainable.
This will lessen the anger of some Conservative MPs this evening. But it means any hope of burying the most incriminating partygate findings has gone. Earlier No 10 did seem to think that might be a possible escape route.
(Unless the police inquiry results in cases going to court, which is not usual for lockdown offences, it will just lead to people being fined. In these cases the police do not have to release their evidence. It is no even clear if we will ever find out the names of all those fined.)
That is all from me for today. My colleague Jedidajah Otte is now taking over.
at 1.22pm EST
No 10 says full Gray report could be published after police inquiry over – but final decision up to PM
Johnson refuses to commit to resigning if fined by police for breaking lockdown rules
Met says it has received 300 pictures and 500 pages of documents from Gray
The Metropolitan police has revealed it has received 300 images and 500 pages of documents about the partygate allegations from the Sue Gray inquiry. It is is working “at pace” to contact people present, who may face a fine, it said.
The Met said:
We are now reviewing it at pace to confirm which individuals will need to be contacted for their account. This prioritisation will include reviewing all the material from the Cabinet Office, which includes more than 300 images and over 500 pages of information.
The Met confirmed the events it is investigating include two the PM admits attending – albeit he insists briefly – in the Downing Street garden in May 2020 and a birthday celebration thrown for him in the cabinet room.
It also confirmed it is investigating an event in the Downing Street flat held on the day Dominic Cummings left his job.
The Met also defended its decision to ask Gray to withhold key detail of the worst breaches. It is the Met’s third attempt at an explanation following a barrage of criticism. The Met said:
The reason this request is necessary is that in any investigation officers seek independent accounts from each individual, as free from the influence of others’ recollections as possible.
Officers would also seek to avoid providing details of their investigation in advance to those they contact, so that individuals are not tempted to shape their accounts according to what is in the public domain.
at 12.04pm EST