Downing Street parties: Staff can see notes on them from Sue Gray report before responding to Metropolitan Police

Downing Street staff questioned by police will be able to see notes on them from the Sue Gray report before responding.

The Metropolitan Police has sent a questionnaire to about 50 people as it conducts its inquiry, titled Operation Hillman, which is examining whether Covid restrictions were broken in Downing Street and across Whitehall.

It has now emerged staff will be able to access information about themselves before speaking, but nothing about anyone else.

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ITV News reported Ms Gray had granted staff, including the Prime Minister, with limited access to notes taken about them during her internal inquiry.

Downing Street staff will be allowed to read evidence gathered about them by civil servant Sue Gray

In a letter on February 17, Ms Gray wrote: "I appreciate that this is a worrying time for those affected by this process, which I do not wish to compound.

“In light of particular circumstances surrounding this set of events I have, as an exceptional measure, decided that individuals may be provided with limited access to the notes.”

ITV said staff were told they can view the notes in a “time limited” session, in person, “with a member of the investigation team present”.

Last month she passed her evidence, including around 300 photographs, to the Metropolitan Police, sparking a separate investigation by the force.

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Those under police suspicion have been given questionnaires compiled by officers who may issue fines for any rule breaking.

They will reportedly not be allowed to bring any legal representative with them, nor phones, tablets, computers or any other recording equipment.

The letter is also cited as saying individuals will not be permitted to “challenge, suggest changes or amendments to the notes or otherwise challenge their contents”.

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It reportedly said: “The focus for individuals should be on completing the police questionnaire within the timeline given.

“Access to notes from previous interviews are not necessary to do this, nor is it standard practice in internal investigations such as this to share or agree such notes with interviewees.”

Mr Johnson is still fighting for his political life and has hired a personal lawyer to help him draft his response to questionnaire.

The Prime Minister attended the ‘bring your own bottle’ party in the No. 10 garden, in May 2020 and has not denied attending the ‘ABBA party’ in his flat in November 2020.

The Cabinet Office declined to comment.

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