Downing Street parties: Labour's Angela Rayner says police investigation a 'damning reflection’ of high office

Angela Rayner has claimed the police investigation into the Downing Street parties is a “truly damning reflection of our nation’s very highest office”.

The Labour deputy leader referred to the terms of reference of the Sue Gray inquiry, which says that any evidence of criminality will be referred to the police.

Asking an urgent question in the Commons on Tuesday, Ms Rayner also demanded answers about whether a decision to delay Ms Gray’s inquiry was made by Downing Street or the police.

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Angela Rayner claimed the police investigation into the Downing Street parties was a “damning reflection of our nation’s very highest office”.

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She said: “It seems potential criminality has been found in Downing Street. What a truly damning reflection on our nation’s very highest office.

“So I ask the minister, given this morning’s announcement, when will the Sue Gary report finally be published?”

Ms Rayner also said: “All too soon the minister and I find ourselves here once again. Rather than dealing with the cost-of-living crisis impacting on families, we are talking about scandals in Downing Street again.”

To jeers from the Government benches, she added: “The members opposite can chunter from their positions, but they are allowing this to happen.”

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Ms Rayner also challenged Cabinet Office minister Michael Ellis to explain the delay behind the publication.

She said: “Can he assure the House that the Sue Gray report will be published in full, not just the summary? And will the accompanying evidence be provided?

“Can he clarify for the House what Sue Gray and her team will be doing while the police conduct their investigation?

“Can the minister confirm whether the decision to delay the publication of the Sue Gray report was made by the Metropolitan Police or the Government?”

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Ms Rayner added: “Given this Government’s record of lost phones, missing messages and minutes, can he assure the House that all evidence from the Gray inquiry will be properly held by the Cabinet Office?”

Her questioning came in a session that also saw Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey repeat his call for the Prime Minister to resign.

He said: “In the midst of a pandemic and a cost-of-living crisis, and with Europe on the brink of war in Ukraine, we cannot go on with this chaotic Government. Does the minister accept the Prime Minister’s authority is in tatters?

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