Home Politics What is the Sue Gray report and what can we anticipate from the complete findings?

What is the Sue Gray report and what can we anticipate from the complete findings?

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What is the Sue Gray report and what can we anticipate from the complete findings?

Senior civil servant Sue Gray will quickly set out the findings of her investigation right into a collection of events in Downing Street and Whitehall that befell when COVID restrictions have been in place.

Plans to publish the complete report earlier this yr needed to be dropped after the Met Police introduced on 23 January that it was launching a legal investigation into partygate.

The drive requested that solely “minimal reference” be made to occasions beneath investigation when Ms Gray offered a 12-page “update” to parliament on 31 January.

She defined on the time that the police investigation had meant she was “extremely limited” in what she might say and that it was “not possible at present to provide a meaningful report” that set out all she had found.

But, whereas the interim findings lacked particular particulars, they have been nonetheless damning. The pared-back report stated Downing Street lockdown gatherings represented a “serious failure of leadership” and have been “difficult to justify”.

The conclusion of the Met Police investigation – which resulted in 126 mounted penalty notices being issued to 83 folks, together with the prime minister and chancellor – means the complete report can now be printed.

The expectation is this might occur as early as the center of subsequent week.

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Sue Gray is the second everlasting secretary on the Department for Levelling Up

Who is Sue Gray?

Sue Gray is a long-serving senior civil servant who’s at the moment the second everlasting secretary on the Department for Levelling Up.

Previously she spent six years as director common of propriety and ethics within the Cabinet Office, starting in 2012.

Former prime minister Theresa May requested her to research Conservative MP Damian Green over allegations he had lied in regards to the presence of pornographic photos on his Commons pc.

Ms Gray additionally led the so-called “plebgate” inquiry into claims that then-chief whip Andrew Mitchell had insulted cops in Downing Street.

She was everlasting secretary of the Department of Finance in Northern Ireland from 2018 to 2021, then returned to the Cabinet Office as second everlasting secretary earlier than shifting to her present division.

What was she investigating?

Sue Gray was appointed to guide the inquiry final December. It got here after the nation’s most senior civil servant, cupboard secretary Simon Case, recused himself from overseeing the investigation after allegations that one social gathering had taken place outdoors his workplace.

The phrases of reference for the inquiry state that the “primary purpose will be to establish swiftly a general understanding of the nature of the gatherings, including attendance, the setting and the purpose, with reference to adherence to the guidance in place at the time.

“If required, the investigations will set up whether or not particular person disciplinary motion is warranted.”

In her interim findings, she said she had interviewed 70 individuals, some more than once and examined emails, WhatsApp messages, photographs, building entry logs, and other official records.

While the Met Police investigation looked at 12 events, Sue Gray’s inquiry will cover 16 that took place in 2020 and 2021, when COVID restrictions were in place.

  • 15 May 2020 – “{A photograph} displaying plenty of teams within the backyard of No 10 Downing Street.”
  • 20 May 2020: “A gathering within the backyard of No 10 Downing Street for No 10 workers.”
  • 18 June 2020: “A gathering within the Cabinet Office, 70 Whitehall on the departure of a No 10 personal secretary.”
  • 19 June 2020: “A gathering within the Cabinet room in No 10 Downing Street on the prime minister’s birthday.”
  • 13 November 2020: “A gathering within the No 10 flat.”
  • 13 November 2020: “A gathering in No 10 Downing Street on the departure of a particular adviser.”
  • 27 November 2020: “A gathering in No 10 Downing Street on the departure of a particular adviser.”
  • 10 December 2020: “A gathering within the Department for Education forward of the Christmas break.”
  • 15 December 2020: “A gathering in No 10 Downing Street for an internet Christmas quiz.”
  • 17 December 2020: “A gathering in Cabinet Office, 70 Whitehall to carry an internet Christmas quiz for the Cabinet Secretary’s personal workplace.”
  • 17 December 2020: “A gathering in Cabinet Office, 70 Whitehall on the departure of a senior Cabinet Office official.”
  • 17 December 2020: “A gathering in No 10 Downing Street on the departure of a No 10 official.”
  • 18 December 2020: “A gathering in No 10 Downing Street forward of the Christmas break.”
  • 14 January 2021: “A gathering in No 10 Downing Street on the departure of two No 10 personal secretaries.”
  • 16 April 2021: “A gathering in No 10 Downing Street on the departure of No 10 official.”
  • 16 April 2021: “A gathering in No 10 Downing Street on the departure of one other No 10 official.”

What did her interim report conclude?

The update published on 31 January concluded that “a quantity” of gatherings “mustn’t have been allowed to happen or to develop in the way in which that they did”.

The report said “a number of the behaviour surrounding these gatherings is tough to justify” and that “not less than a number of the gatherings characterize a critical failure to watch not simply the excessive requirements anticipated of these working on the coronary heart of presidency but additionally of the requirements anticipated of your entire British inhabitants on the time”.

Ms Gray said she had found “failures of management and judgment by totally different elements of Number 10 and the Cabinet Office”.

She said the garden at No 10 Downing Street was used for gatherings without clear authorisation or oversight, and “some workers wished to lift considerations about behaviours they witnessed at work however at instances felt unable to take action”.

She ended her report by saying: “There is important studying to be drawn from these occasions which should be addressed instantly throughout authorities and this doesn’t want to attend for the police investigations to be concluded.”

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Key takeaways from Sue Gray report

What has occurred since then?

Immediately after the publication of the interim report, Boris Johnson apologised to the Commons and promised a shake-up of No 10, insisting: “I get it and I will fix it.”

Mr Johnson stated: “I want to say sorry – and I’m sorry for the things we simply didn’t get right and also sorry for the way this matter has been handled.

“It’s no use saying this or that was throughout the guidelines and it is no use saying folks have been working laborious. This pandemic was laborious for everybody.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer responded: “It is already clear what the report disclosed is essentially the most damning conclusion doable.”

Days after the publication of the interim Sue Gray report, four senior Downing Street aides left their posts: chief of staff, Dan Rosenfield; director of communications, Jack Doyle; principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds; and chief policy advisor Munira Mirza.

Boris Johnson also carried out a mini reshuffle and promoted MP Steve Barclay to chief of staff and MP Andrew Griffith to head of policy. Some changes to how Number 10 and the Cabinet Office are structured have also been made.

What more can be expected in the full findings?

Senior figures in government are already anticipating a “abdomen churning” report that’s prone to make very uncomfortable studying for the prime minister.

Much extra element is anticipated on every of the 16 occasions she investigated. However, this shall be a factual account slightly than documentary proof – akin to images collected in the course of the inquiry.

What shouldn’t be clear is whether or not Sue Gray will transcend offering a factual account of what occurred and apportion blame to those that could also be accountable.

Her staff is contacting people who could also be referred to within the closing report, nevertheless it won’t listing those that attended every occasion.

Several Conservative MPs have stated they’d withhold judgement on Boris Johnson’s future till they’ve learn the complete Sue Gray report. There shall be a lot deal with whether or not there are any new requires his resignation from the Tory backbenches.

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