Police tell Sue Gray to publish watered down partygate report

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Adrian Dennis/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Adrian Dennis/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
  • The civil service report into Downing Street parties could contain significant redactions.
  • The Met Police told civil servant Sue Gray not to publish details of the alleged parties it is also investigating.
  • The news would be welcome for the prime minister.
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The Cabinet Office report into alleged Downing Street parties could contain significant omissions after the Metropolitan Police said it wanted "minimal" references to the alleged parties it is investigating itself.

The Metropolitan Police on Tuesday announced that it was investigating allegations that Downing Street staff held numerous parties throughout 2020 and 2021, which may have broken lockdown rules, throwing the timing of a separate Cabinet Office report into doubt.

"For the events the Met is investigating, we asked for a minimal reference to be made to the Cabinet Office report," a statement from the Metropolitan Police on Monday first cited by The Telegraph's Ben Riley-Smith and obtained by Insider said. 

"The Met did not ask for any limitations on other events in the report, or for the report to be delayed, but we have had ongoing contact with the Cabinet Office, including on the content of the report, to avoid any prejudice to our investigation," the statement continued. 

The news is significant because it raises the prospect that the Cabinet Office report by Sue Gray may contain significant redactions if it is published before the Metropolitan Police concludes its inquiry. 

That would be welcome news to the prime minister, who could face a no-confidence vote from his party if the allegations contained in the Cabinet Office report are deemed too damaging.

It remains unclear when Sue Gray, the civil servant conducting the Cabinet Office probe, plans to publish her report.

Government sources told the Guardian Gray had finished the report, but was liaising with government lawyers and human resources officials to decide what could be published.

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