Sue Gray report: The key points on Downing Street parties
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Boris Johnson has insisted the UK needed to move on from Partygate, after the Sue Gray report found he had attended several parties and lockdown-breaching events. The full 37-page document was unveiled on Wednesday and placed the blame squarely on the Prime Minister and other senior staff members in Downing Street.
The full report, delayed for four months by a separate Met Police investigation, gave a damning insight with accompanying photographs into 16 parties in Downing Street and Whitehall which took place while the public were under coronavirus restrictions in 2020 and 2021.
The reports found events went on until the early hours of the morning, excessive alcohol was consumed, and staff were instructed to leave via the back door.
At one event, one person was sick and there was a fight.
In one message after a “bring your own booze” party to which 200 people were invited in May 2020, Martin Reynolds, the prime minister’s principal private secretary, said: “We seem to have got away with [it].”
Mr Johnson failed to take full responsibility for the findings by resigning from his position, but has issued an apology.
He also said much of the report was “news to me”, and was appalled when he learned of the excessive partying.
But the civil servant’s damning report has said there could be many more lockdown-breaking parties and events that took place which the public would never know about.
On page four of the landmark report, Ms Gray said: “It was also unfortunately the case that details of some events only became known to me and my team through reporting in the media.
“This is disappointing. Given the piecemeal manner in which events were brought to my attention, it is possible that events took place which were not the subject of investigation.
“However, my general findings and conclusions would equally apply.”
All-in-all, the report detailed 16 gatherings that were the subject of investigation by Ms Gray and her team,
The Prime Minister has now been urged to resign by multiple Tory MPs who believe his position is untenable in light of the report’s findings.
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Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, when asked if he would consider resigning, Mr Johnson insisted he must continue with his job.
He said: “I overwhelmingly feel it is my job to get on and deliver.
“No matter how bitter and painful that the conclusions of this may be – and they are – and no matter how humbling they are, I have got to keep moving forward and the government has got to keep moving. And we are.”
But his own party members think differently.
Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood asked the UK leader: “Can he think of any other Prime Minister who’d have allowed such a culture of indiscipline to take place under their watch, and if it did would they not have resigned?”
Conservative MP Julian Sturdy later tweeted he felt Ms Gray’s report showed “it is now in the public interest for the Prime Minister to resign”.
Cabinet members have, however, offered their backing to Mr Johnson, including Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the report “will stand as a monument to the hubris and arrogance of the government that believes it was one rule for them and another for everyone else”.
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