Boris Johnson ‘suggested to Sue Gray that she should just drop the Partygate report’ in secret meeting

The Prime Minister asked Sue Gray, who is preparing a report on Partygate and suspected breaches of Covid lockdown rules, if there was “a lot of point” in it being made public, it is claimed

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Grant Shapps: PM had Covid and lost his mother during pandemic

Boris Johnson suggested Sue Gray just drop her Partygate report in secret meeting, according to bombshell claims.

The Prime Minister – who is the head of the Whitehall Inquiry – met her earlier this month after talks with No10 officials “might be something she might want to consider”.

No10 has refused to release any logs. But it has now emerged that Boris Johnson has asked if there was “much point” in publishing her final verdict on lockdown parties following a police inquiry, the Times and Sky News reported.

The suggestion that Boris Johnson was trying to interfere in the inquiry brings fresh pressure after he was accused of lying to Parliament – following photos of him raising a glass at a party on November 13, 2020, which he expressly denied.

Cabinet ally Grant Shapps today claimed the Prime Minister “clearly did not” celebrate on leaving for aide Lee Cain, telling Sky News: “He had stopped by to say thank you and to raise a glass to a colleague who was leaving.”

Mr Shapps also bizarrely excused the Prime Minister’s behavior because he “lost his mother on his period” – despite the fact that Charlotte Johnson Wahl died 10 months after the photos were taken.

However, sources told the Mirror that more photos showing the Prime Minister drinking at foul lockdown gatherings at No 10 are likely to be published in Sue Gray’s report to Partygate – which could be released on Wednesday.



Marcin Nowak/LNP)

One of the bomb images that were created by Boris Johnson

Sources close to the investigation said officials had to “push very hard internally” for the damning pictures to be taken.

The Mirror understands photos of the Prime Minister at his Downing Street birthday party with a can of Estrella beer will be unveiled. An insider claimed the picture was “more incriminating” than those revealed last night.

The meeting between Boris Johnson and Sue Gray was kept secret by No 10 and when it broke, Downing Street officials tried to falsely claim Sue Gray had instigated it.

Finally, a No10 spokesman admitted the idea had come from Downing Street but refused to say what was discussed.

However, a Whitehall source told the Times: “He asked her if there was much point in doing it now that everything is out there. He concluded that she did not need to publish the report.”

Another insider said: “They were investigating this idea of ​​not having a report. It has been talked about [in Downing Street]. But politically, they realized they couldn’t do it.”

Downing Street did not respond to requests for comment this morning and Mr Shapps has repeatedly refused to deny the portrayal.

Boris Johnson attended a primary school yesterday as pressure mounted on his leadership



The transport minister said: “I wasn’t at the meeting but I know officials were there. The meeting was actually arranged by officials only for the timing and logistics of the report. Beyond that, unfortunately, I have no useful information.”

When asked again, he said, “I didn’t see that confirmation,” “I wasn’t in the room so I don’t know that’s the case,” and “I don’t know what exactly was discussed.”

He joked to Sky: “You seem to have had more information about the interior of the meeting than I did.”

Despite not knowing what had happened, Mr Shapps defended the Prime Minister over the leaked images, saying: “I don’t think those things should have happened, but I think it’s probably worth recalling in context that the Prime Minister himself had been extremely ill during that time, had close contact with the coronavirus, he lost his mother during the time he was dealing with the pandemic.

“From the looks of it, he leaves and thanks someone who leaves, he raises his glass to them.

“And like I said, I – having lived through the coronavirus like everyone in this country and in many cases made tremendous sacrifices – I don’t like to see images that suggest otherwise.

“But that’s well covered territory, we’ve seen that, we’ve heard about that, the only difference is seeing the photo.”

Cabinet ally Grant Shapps today claimed the Prime Minister was “clearly not” celebrating.


AFP via Getty Images)

Asked whether the PM had misled Parliament, he said: “The question was whether he was partying down there – no, clearly not. He had walked by to say thank you and to raise a glass to a colleague who was leaving.

“Police have spent a lot of time with a lot of people and a lot of resources crawling over it and they’ve come to their conclusion as we know he wasn’t punished for it.”

Mr Johnson’s position will come under renewed pressure when – as many are expecting – Ms Gray takes a very critical view of the culture at Downing Street and Whitehall, leading to repeated breaches of the rules.

PM’s supporters have been confident he can survive calls for his resignation after only being fined for a Cabinet Office meeting on his 56th birthday.

Tory MP Desmond Swayne said the boisterous party on 13 November 2020 was work and therefore “not a crime” – despite the fact indoor social gatherings were illegal at the time.

But Tory Peter Aldous said he will not withdraw his letter of no confidence in the Prime Minister.

Roger Gale, Conservative MP for North Thanet, said there was only one honorable solution

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross has urged the Prime Minister to explain why he thought his behavior was “acceptable”.

Veteran Tory Roger Gale told Times Radio that the Prime Minister should stop saying: “It is absolutely clear that there was a party, that he attended, that he raised a toast to one of his colleagues. That’s why he misled us from the shipping box.

“And frankly, there is an answer.”

Tory rebel Steve Baker tweeted a picture of an NHS poster last night during Covid that had a sick patient and the words ‘LOOK HER IN THE EYES AND TELL HER YOU NEVER BROKE THE RULES’.

The PM faces an inquiry from the Commons Privileges Committee into whether he lied when he specifically denied there was a party in No 10 on November 13, 2020.

When asked in the House of Commons last December whether there had been a party at No 10 that day, the Prime Minister said “no”, adding he was sure the rules would be observed at all times.

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

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross has urged the Prime Minister to explain why he felt his behavior was “acceptable” when most people would find the images released by ITV News “unjustified and wrong”.

The PM faces an investigation by the Commons Privileges Committee into whether he lied



His comments were echoed by former Scottish Conservative leader Baroness Davidson, who said Mr Johnson’s position had become untenable.

“There is now photographic evidence that when the Prime Minister stood up in Parliament and was asked directly ‘was there a party in No 10 that day’ and he replied ‘no’, he lied to Parliament,” he said she told Channel 4 News.

A No 10 spokeswoman said: “The Cabinet Office and Met Police had access to all information relevant to their investigation, including photographs.

“The Met has completed its investigation and Sue Gray will publish her report in the coming days, after which the Prime Minister will address Parliament in full.”

The Metropolitan Police are facing questions as to why Mr Johnson was not fined in connection with the event, as photos showed him with a drink in hand next to a table strewn with bottles of food and wine.

There were at least eight other people in the room at one point, when people were forbidden to mingle except to meet with one person outside, and at least one person received a fixed penalty in relation to an event that day .

Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper has written to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) urging it to investigate the Met’s Operation Hillman inquiry into the events at No 10 and Whitehall.

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