Boris Johnson faces D-Day as Whitehall gears up for publication of Sue Gray's report on 'partygate'

Boris Johnson faces a day of reckoning as the country gears up for Sue Gray's report on 'partygate' allegations to be released.

Published Last updated

Boris Johnson faces a day of reckoning as the country gears up for Sue Gray's report on 'partygate' allegations to be released.

On top of this, the Prime Minister will face MPs at PMQs, following the Metropolitan Police's announcement that they are investigating claims of parties in Downing Street.

Ms Gray is reported to have found evidence of eight gatherings that may have breached lockdown restrictions and the law.

British civil servant Sue Gray.
British civil servant Sue Gray.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick revealed on Tuesday that officers were investigating a "number" of events "without fear or favour".

She told the London Assembly: “I absolutely understand there is deep public concern about the ­allegations that have been in the media over the last several weeks.

“Many, many people including Londoners, and my colleagues have made huge sacrifices and they’ve suffered considerable loss during the pandemic".

Mr Johnson was hosting a number of one-to-one meetings with Conservative MPs on Tuesday, as some threatened to submit no confidence letters, once Sue Gray's report is published.

Downing Street have handed over images from the reported gatherings to Ms Gray's investigators, with some showing the Prime Minister holding bottles of wine, according to reports.

As Whitehall braces itself for the report findings, calls for the PM to quit have risen, with dissenting voices including Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner.

She said: “Boris Johnson is a national distraction. Conservative MPs should stop propping him up and he should finally do the decent thing and resign".

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey said: "He’s lied continually, he’s been dishonest to Parliament and to the British people. He has to go".

The Metropolitan Police revealed on Tuesday afternoon that they had no fundamental objections to the report being published, despite previous reports suggesting findings may be held back.

Boris Johnson initially denied reports of any lockdown-breaching gatherings, before saying he did not know about any of them.

The Prime Minister is now reported to have attended at least half of the gatherings, even if only for a short time, while the rest of the country faced tight restrictions on social contact.

The latest reports emerging of a gathering suggest a birthday bash was held for Mr Johnson on June 19, 2020, according to ITV News.

Boris Johnson has said that he welcomes the police investigation, saying it will give the public the "clarity it needs" over the allegations and “help draw a line under the matter”.

Downing Street have confirmed that the PM is prepared to "co-operate fully" with the police inquiry.

His spokesperson has added that Mr Johnson feels it is "fair to say that he does not" believe he broke any Covid protocol.

Many Conservative MPs are waiting on Ms Gray's report being published before deciding their stance on the PM's future.

One of the favourites for the role of party leadership should Boris Johnson step down, Liz Truss, has offered her "100%" backing to the Prime Minister in an interview with Sky News.

Other Tory MPs have leapt to Boris Johnson's defence, including Jacob Rees-Mogg.

The Leader of the House claimed: "The leadership this country has had under Boris Johnson has been so brilliant - he has got all the big decisions right [during the pandemic]".

The report is to be published "in full, with no cuts, no censorship, no redactions", ITV News has reported, citing a source close to Sue Gray.

While the report is expected soon, there are no guarantees over a specified day as of yet.

A government source has told The Telegraph: "Any day this week is still a possibility".