Boris Johnson holds press conference for the Sue Gray report
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Senior civil servant Ms Gray has spent months compiling her report, with the final highly anticipated release today. She investigated whether 16 events held at Downing Street and attended by both staff and the Prime Minister broke Covid rules passed by the Government. The report confirmed many already established facts and uncovered a host of surprising revelations.
What did the Sue Gray report say?
Sue Gray concluded that many of the gatherings she investigated did not take place “in line with Covid guidance at the time”.
Her report showed several instances – eight in total – where the Prime Minister attended gatherings himself, although the Metropolitan Police only fined him for one.
Much of the document outlined ongoing failures of leadership between 2020 and 2021 – which the Prime Minister has since sought to correct – and a messy drinking culture.
With that came “multiple examples of a lack of respect and poor treatment of security and cleaning staff”.
Fighting and vomiting
Ms Grey’s investigation of one event on June 18, 2020, “a gathering in the Cabinet Office, 70 Whitehall on the departure of a Number 10 official”, found an occasion where staff took drinking too far.
The event, she found, lasted for “a number of hours” and saw “some individuals” excessively consume alcohol.
One individual, Ms Grey said, was sick, and two others engaged in a “minor altercation”.
Wine on the walls
During one of the events identified by Ms Grey – a gathering at Number 10 on December 18 ahead of the Christmas break – staff spilt wine across the Downing Street press office.
She wrote that staff in attendance had alcohol and food and “drank excessively” at the “crowded and noisy” gathering.
The next morning Ms Grey said a cleaner attending the room “noted that there had been red wine spilled on one wall and on a number of boxes of photocopier paper”.
During the same event on December 18, Downing Street staffers accidentally called a policeman to Number 10.
Ms Grey’s report states a “panic alarm button was accidentally
triggered by a member of staff” around 7.45pm that evening.
Number 10 custodians and one on-duty police officer responded, who “observed a large number of people in the area outside of the main Press Office and one individual giving a speech”.
Partying into the morning of Prince Philip’s funeral
Downing Street staffers gathered to see off senior Number 10 officials on April 16 with two parties.
Ms Grey’s report said they partied into the early hours of April 17, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.
An extract from the document states that entry logs from Number 10 show “some individuals remained in the building and carried on drinking alcohol until the early hours”.
The last people left Number 10 at 3.11am and 4.20am, hours before the funeral and at a time when socialising was limited to support bubbles.
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