No. 10 “Abba Party” allegedly removed from Sue Gray’s report as three officials were named

Three senior aides who are said to have urged Sue Gray not to release some of the names of those attending lockdown parties were named today

Boris Johnson
Downing Street has been hit by new claims that an alleged “Abba party” at Flat No 10 has been removed

Three senior officials have lobbied Sue Gray not to release some names of those attending lockdown parties, it was claimed today.

In response, the Whitehall enforcer, who compiled her Partygate inquiry report, is said to have said to “direct” her to make the changes – publicly signaling that she opposed it, the Sunday Times reported.

The staff were named by the newspaper as permanent secretary Samantha Jones, Simon Case, the cabinet secretary, and Alex Chisholm, permanent secretary in the cabinet office.

It came as Downing Street was hit by new claims that an alleged “Abba party” at Flat No 10 has been removed from the report.

Downing Street admitted an official saw parts of it before publication.

In the end, several people were named in it, but No10 flatly denied reports in the Sunday Times that the document was “modified by No10” in its final stages – a move that would cast doubt on its independence.

A No10 source said: “It is not true that anyone on the political side saw anything in advance or tried to influence it.”

A draft of the report referred to music being played from Boris and Carrie Johnson’s Downing Street flat on November 13, 2020, new reports claim.







Downing Street admitted an official saw parts of Sue Gray’s report before it was published
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Picture:

PA)

The draft also said when the meeting ended it is claimed – other parties in No. 10 continued until 4am. But none of these details were in the final report.

The final version said Ms Gray decided it was not “appropriate or proportionate” to investigate further after police failed to fine anyone for the event.

Mr and Mrs Johnson and a group of special counsels were at the home on the night of November 13, when indoor social gatherings were banned.

It has been alleged that Abba hit The Winner Takes it All was played after Dominic Cummings was pushed out of No 10.

Ms Johnson has previously denied the claims and Mr Johnson last week claimed it was a work meeting.

No10 has also not completely ruled out that Ms Gray changed her account herself following a communication from Downing Street.







Boris Johnson claims it was a working meeting
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Picture:

PRU/AFP via Getty Images)

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman told the Mirror last Thursday: “I don’t know when changes were made in the process of preparing the report.”

It comes after two insiders told the Mirror the document was viewed prior to publication by Mr Johnson’s chief of staff Steve Barclay, who reportedly requested amendments.

They said the section on a gathering at the Downing Street flat had been “edited” on Tuesday night.

Addressing allegations Mr Barclay asked for amendments regarding the Abba Party, Mr Lewis said: “10 Downing Street has said that allegation is incorrect, it is untrue.

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“And I would say it is certain that the police did not see anything there that would have required a fine.”

A third source claimed the passage about the apartment had been changed, but they didn’t know by whom.

Brandon Lewis, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said he was “absolutely confident” that senior figures in No10 were not attempting to sway the Sue Gray report at lockdown parties.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “The report has been prepared impartially.

“As with all investigative reports, the process of obtaining formal explanations from those deemed to have been criticized took place prior to publication.”

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/no10-abba-party-allegedly-removed-27097254 No. 10 "Abba Party" allegedly removed from Sue Gray's report as three officials were named

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