LONDON: Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with Tory MPs on Tuesday in a bid to reassure them of corrective measures undertaken at No 10 to avoid any future lapse of leadership.
As senior bureaucrat Sue Gray concludes her investigation in what is being termed as the ‘partygate’ scandal, Johnson is under immense pressure with calls for his resignation growing by the day.
Gray, who is being touted as someone who holds the keys to No.10 as her findings will ultimately determine the political future of the country – identified “failure of leadership” as the underlying reason behind the holding of parties whilst Covid was still raging on and the country was under strict lockdown. “There were failures of leadership and judgment by different parts of No 10 and the Cabinet Office at different times,” she wrote.
The complete report has not been published yet due to the simultaneous investigation by the Metropolitan Police Department into the alleged breaches of lockdown rules by the prime minister and his staff. Ms. Gray said she had been “extremely limited” by the police investigation in how much she could say, so a “meaningful” report could not be released yet.
Ms. Gray’s report is 12-page long and initial media releases prove that there was indeed the breaking of covid protocols by the top government officials, perhaps by the PM too. In the press release on Monday, she criticized the culture in Downing Street among senior civil servants and staff, arguing that some of the gatherings did not observe the high standards “expected of the entire British population at the time”.
Last week, Sue Gray had to rewrite her report after the Met dept asked her to avoid mentioning the events they are looking at, in order to “avoid any prejudice to [their] investigation”.
The department is scrutinizing footage and documents related to the 12 events including 3 which the PM himself attended, and one was even held at his official Downing Street residence.