Partygate: Boris Johnson insists he will not block names being made public as Sue Gray report to be published next week

Boris Johnson has insisted he will not seek to block names appearing in the Sue Gray inquiry report into Partygate and said he is “looking forward” to seeing its contents “pretty soon”.

The Prime Minister said he was “very grateful” for the Metropolitan Police’s investigation, which concluded with 126 fines for lockdown breaches in Downing Street and Whitehall.

Ms Gray is believed to be pushing for civil servants who broke Covid rules and received fines to be publicly named.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Ms Gray, the senior civil servant who has produced a report around lockdown breaches committed at Downing Street and Whitehall, is reportedly in discussions about naming senior political and Civil Service figures.

Potentially damaging further details, including the names of some of those who attended gatherings, will be published in the report from senior civil servant Ms Gray.

Sources close to the investigation expect it will be published early next week, with individuals whose involvement will be mentioned to be contacted over the weekend.

Mr Johnson declined to apologise again for the rule-breaking in No. 10 during a visit to Hilltop Honey’s factory in Newtown in Powys, Wales, yesterday.

Instead, he said: “I’m very grateful to the Met for their work, I’m thankful for everything they’ve done.

“We just need to wait for Sue Gray to report, fingers’ crossed that will be very soon, and I’ll be saying some more next week.”

Asked if No. 10 would be blocking any names from appearing, Mr Johnson said: “That will be entirely up to Sue Gray and I’ll be looking forward very much to seeing what she has to say, and fingers’ crossed that will be pretty soon next week.”

Officials impacted by the Gray inquiry, including those to be named, are being written to so they can have a chance to respond before the draft is finalised for publication.

Mr Johnson is among those who will receive a letter from the Cabinet Office team, but No. 10 sources declined to say whether it has been received.

The investigators are understood not to be including the full details of the allegations in the letters, but instead are giving a “gist” of the relevant sections to those being contacted.

It comes with Scotland Yard facing demands to prevent people being left “in the dark” by explaining why Mr Johnson escaped its Partygate investigation with only one fine.

The Prime Minister was told he faces no further action when the Metropolitan Police closed its inquiry after issuing 126 fines for lockdown breaches in Downing Street and Whitehall.

But there were calls for clarity after Mr Johnson received just the one fixed penalty notice despite being believed to have been present at multiple rule-breaking events.

Former director of public prosecutions Lord Ken Macdonald warned “it’s very difficult for us to disentangle exactly how the police investigation has proceeded and how fair it’s been”.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think without the police providing an explanation for that, it’s very difficult for us to understand why they came to the conclusions that they did.”

The crossbench peer said it was not known why the Prime Minister was fined for his presence at what was deemed one of the less serious events, a gathering for his 56th birthday, but not others.

There has also been no explanation as to why Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, who had to recuse himself from running the inquiry after reports of a Cabinet Office Christmas party surfaced, has not been fined.

“This was a major scandal at the heart of Government, at the heart of the civil service, and we remain very much in the dark about who was involved, who organised the parties, and who was responsible,” Lord Macdonald, who led the Crown Prosecution Service between 2003-08, said.

“Of course the Prime Minister and the head of the civil service are ultimately responsible, but there plainly were other people as well who were involved in this and we simply don’t know who they are, and I think that’s not good enough.”

Closing its investigation on Thursday, Scotland Yard said a total of 83 people had received at least one fine each for attending events over eight separate days.

Deputy prime minister Dominic Raab insisted there would be “transparency” around publishing the Gray report “as soon as possible”.

“And the Prime Minister said he will come to the House of Commons and take questions so that we get that additional tier of transparency and accountability,” Mr Raab told Times Radio.

One source close to the Gray investigation said it could be published as soon as Monday, but it was thought Tuesday or Wednesday were more likely.

When Ms Gray’s team hands over the document depends on the scale of the objections received by those being approached for checks.

The individuals she intends to name will be contacted, but it was understood others who are approached could remain anonymous.

The team is not believed to be showing individuals being contacted for pre-publication checks the detailed allegations, but are giving a flavour of what it contains.

But ultimately its publication is being handled by No 10.

The Metropolitan Police declined to identify anyone in its £460,000 investigation.

A team of 12 detectives examined 345 documents, including emails, door logs, diary entries, witness statements and 204 questionnaires.

They also examined 510 photographs and CCTV images.

Mr Johnson, his wife Carrie Johnson, and Chancellor Rishi Sunak were all fined over a 56th birthday gathering for the Prime Minister in June 2020 when indoor mixing was banned.

But both Johnsons were told by police they face no further action, according to Downing Street, and Mr Sunak has not received an additional fine.

The Met said 28 individuals had received between two and five fines.


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