Met Police asks for ‘minimal reference’ in Sue Gray report to events investigated in Downing Street inquiry
Scotland Yard has insisted officers have not asked for the Sue Gray report to be delayed
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The Metropolitan Police has asked for “minimal reference” to be made in Sue Gray’s partygate report to the events the force is investigating.
Scotland Yard insisted that officers had not asked for the report to be delayed, or placed any further restrictions on other events.
But the force said it remained in contact with the Cabinet Office team to “avoid any prejudice to our investigation”.
In a statement, Scotland Yard said: “For the events the Met is investigating, we asked for minimal reference to be made in the Cabinet Office report.
“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.”
When will the Sue Gray report be published?
Westminster has been braced for the publication of the report from the senior civil servant this week, but the timing has now been thrown into doubt.
The latest statement from the force suggests that Ms Gray will now either have to make significant changes to her report before it is published, or delay it until after the police inquiry concludes.
Officers have not confirmed how many events they are investigating, but reports have suggested it could be up to eight.
A government minister has said the details contained in the report is down to Ms Gray and the police to “work out between them”.
Speaking about the latest development in the inquiry on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Technology minister Chris Philp said: “The way that the Sue Gray report gets put together is something that is a matter entirely for Sue Gray. It is up to her and the police how to handle that.
“Clearly, between Sue Gray and the police, this will get fully investigated – as it should.
“But the important thing to say is that the government have no influence and no involvement in how Sue Gray and the police conduct their respective reports and investigations, which is right – it is right they are fully independent.
“So, between the two of them, they will cover all of the incidents that need investigating so the public and Parliament have a full and proper account.
“But that is up to Sue Gray and the police to work that out between them – it is not something the government should or would interfere with.”
The report has the potential to trigger a vote of no confidence in his leadership by Tory MPs angered over the alleged breaches.
The official inquiry has been long-awaited but its publication was thrown into disarray earlier this week when Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick announced that her officers had opened a criminal investigation.
Boris Johnson is now reportedly considering delaying a rise in National Insurance intended to cover social care reforms and tackle the NHS backlog, to try and sooth backbench Tory anger and hold on to his position in No 10.
A total of seven Tory MPs have already publicly called for Mr Johnson to quit, but others are believed to have done so privately in letters to the chairman of the Conservatives’ 1922 Committee.
If the number of letters received by Sir Graham Brady hits 54, representing 15% of all Tory MPs, then a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister’s leadership will be triggered.
Mr Johnson would then need to win the support of half of Conservatives MPs to stay in Downing Street.
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