Politics LIVE: Sue Gray report: Boris Johnson holding press conference

An official inquiry into the partygate scandal has said the “senior leadership” in Boris Johnson’s Government must “bear responsibility” for the culture which led to coronavirus lockdown rules being broken.

The Prime Minister faced fresh demands to resign after Sue Gray’s report said the public would be “dismayed” by a series of breaches of coronavirus rules in No 10 and Westminster.

“The events that I investigated were attended by leaders in government. Many of these events should not have been allowed to happen,” she said.

The Metropolitan Police has issued 126 fines for rule breaches in No 10 and Whitehall, with the Prime Minister receiving a single fixed-penalty notice for his birthday party.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson heads to a press conference in Downing Street, London, following the publication of Sue Gray's report into Downing Street parties in Whitehall during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2022.

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner described the contents of the report as “indefensible”, calling Mr Johnson’s Downing Street “rotten from the very top”.

“He set the culture. It happened on his watch. It’s on him,” she added.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford branded the report “damning” and called the Prime Minister to resign for “orchestrating” the scenes in Downing Street.

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Sue Gray report condemns party failing at heart of UK Government and says 'senio...

Labour said there was now “no doubt” that Mr Johnson had “lied” to MPs.

You can follow the latest in our live blog.

Politics: Partygate row as it happened: Pressure mounts on Boris Johnson as he faces questions after new photos emerge

Last updated: Tuesday, 24 May, 2022, 19:02

The general secretary of the FDA union said there is “no-one more experienced” than Sue Gray, as she prepares to publish her report on partygate.

Dave Penman told Sky News: “I think, like anyone else in the country, if I look at those pictures and try and reconcile with the decisions taken, that’s going to be tough to explain the decision of the Met, why some people in that room were fined.”

He added: “A picture paints a thousands words and that one certainly does.”

He said of Ms Gray: “She’s a formidable individual, which is why, if reports of the Prime Minister trying to influence her are true, then that’s really poor judgment from Boris Johnson.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan told Sky News earlier: “There clearly was a party. (Boris Johnson) was raising a glass.”

Andy Murray has responded to the latest partygate revelations by sharing a post calling the Prime Minister ‘a liar’ on social media.

Andy Murray has hit out at Prime Minister Boris Johnson, labelling him 'a liar'.

Communities Secretary Michael Gove arriving in Downing Street, London, for a Cabinet meeting.

Veteran Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale, following comments on Times Radio on Monday in which he said Prime Minister Boris Johnson “misled us from the despatch box”, tweeted: “I believe that the PM has misled the HoC’s from the despatch box. That is a resignation issue.

“I have made my own position clear. It is now a matter for my Conservative parliamentary colleagues to decide whether or not to instigate a vote of no confidence.”

Former attorney general Dominic Grieve said the Metropolitan Police’s decision not to fine Boris Johnson over the leaving party is “incomprehensible”.

The ex-Conservative MP told BBC News: “I certainly think the police decision is incomprehensible. If, as suggested, they fined other participants attending this party then I just can’t see how the Prime Minister wasn’t fined as well.

“I would have to ask the police for their reasoning on this, I do find it extraordinary.”

Grant Shapps said on Tuesday he was “angry” to see the photographs but suggested the Prime Minister may not have been fined over the event because he left the leaving do “pretty quick”.

The Transport Secretary argued that Mr Johnson had only “popped down” to toast departing communications chief Lee Cain on November 13 2020.

Downing Street has declined to defend the scenes ahead of the publication of Sue Gray’s inquiry, which a No 10 source expects to be published on Wednesday.

The leaving do took place just days after the Prime Minister had ordered England’s second national lockdown.

What where the rules on the day the latest pictures of Boris Johnson emergedon 13th November?

A second national lockdown was in force.

In England, the rules prohibited indoor gatherings of two or more people.

An exception was allowed if the gathering “was reasonably necessary” for work purposes.

The “working safely during coronavirus“ guidance at the time said only “absolutely necessary participants should attend meetings and should maintain 2m separation throughout”.

The pictures showed the Prime Minister with a glass in his hand behind a table filled with alcohol and food
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