Sue Gray report: everything you need to know as a top official to release Partygate results

Boris Johnson is braced for the release of Sue Gray’s long-awaited Partygate report this week after the Metropolitan Police concluded their investigation

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Report by Sue Grey: Nadhim Zahawi grilled over meeting Boris Johnson

Senior official Sue Gray is expected to release her Partygate findings this week after Scotland Yard completed its investigation into the lockdown bashes at Downing Street and Whitehall.

The senior official has been tasked with investigating the Covid law-breaking at the heart of government after Civil Service chief Simon Case was forced to resign from conducting the inquiry after a party was held in his own office.

Boris Johnson avoided receiving further fines from the Metropolitan Police beyond the penalty for his lockdown birthday party in June 2020 – despite a total of 126 fines being imposed.

But the Prime Minister cannot breathe easy just yet as Ms Gray’s report is expected to be very critical of Downing Street culture during the pandemic.

Her report was originally scheduled to appear in January, but its release was shelved after police made a dramatic decision to launch an investigation.

Senior official Sue Gray is expected to release her report this week


Zuma Press/PA Images)

Instead, she published a short interim document in which she denounced “errors in leadership and judgment” in No. 10.

Here’s what you need to know about Sue Gray and her Partygate report.

What is Sue Gray investigating?

Sue Gray, a senior official in the Leveling Up department, was tasked with investigating Partygate in December after Cabinet Secretary Simon Case dropped the probe.

The chief of civil service had been asked to lead the investigation, but it turned out that an online Christmas quiz had been conducted in his own office. He has not received a fine from the Met Police.

Boris Johnson will face no further action from the Metropolitan Police after completing his Partygate investigation


(Getty Images)

Ms Gray investigated events on 12 dates, including some that were not included in Scotland Yard’s inquiry.

Events with an asterisk

  • were not investigated by the police.
  • 15 May 2020 – a gathering in Downing Street garden where staff were photographed having cheese and wine*
  • 20 May 2020 – a BYOB party in Downing Street Gardens
  • June 18, 2020 – A karaoke exit at the Cabinet Office to mark the departure of No. 10 Official Hannah Young
  • 19 June 2020 – a surprise birthday event for Boris Johnson in the Cabinet Room at No 10

November 13, 2020 – “Abba party” at the Prime Minister’s apartment number 11. Also a departure for communications chief No. 10, Lee Cain
Boris Johnson with staff on an online Christmas quiz in December 2020



  • daily mirror)
  • 27 November 2020 – Farewell at Downing Street for Special Counsel Cleo Watson *
  • December 10, 2020 – Meeting at the Ministry of Education before the Christmas holidays *
  • December 15, 2020 – a #10 online Christmas quiz*
  • December 17, 2020 – An online Christmas quiz for the Private Office of the Cabinet Secretary. Also a departure in the Cabinet Office for Kate Josephs, a former Director-General of the Covid Task Force. Also a No. 10 leaving for Defense Assistant Captain Steve Higham
  • December 18, 2020 – No10 Christmas Party
  • January 14, 2021 – a Prosecco-fuelled farewell to two Private Secretaries No. 10

April 16, 2021 – On the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral, two dos for No10 communications chief James Slack and a photographer leave No10

Ms Gray’s job wasn’t to decide whether the law was broken – that was the Met’s job – but to establish the facts of what happened.

When will the report be published?

Ms Gray is expected to publish her findings in the next few days before Parliament rises for recess on Thursday.

A source close to the investigation told the Mirror: “We have always said we would publish as soon as the Met investigation is complete.

“We’ve also said before that we want to do that when the House is in session.”

Officials who are to be named in the report – including the Prime Minister – have until Sunday evening to object.
Boris Johnson and his former top adviser Martin Reynolds, who organized a BYOB party in Downing Street gardens



(Getty Images)

Among the senior staff who could be named is the Prime Minister’s former private secretary, Martin Reynolds – dubbed Party Marty after he organized the BYOB party in Downing Street’s garden.

If disputes are raised, this could delay the publication of the report.

Conflicting reports have surfaced that Ms Gray and Mr Johnson met last month after new permanent secretary No10 Samantha Jones asked for an update.

However, Cabinet Minister Nadhim Zahawi has repeatedly failed to say who organized the secret meeting.

Ms Gray will deliver the report to Downing Street once it is ready and No10 has repeatedly promised to publish it as received.

The Prime Minister is then expected to give MPs an explanation of the findings.

What will be in it?

Ms Gray interviewed dozens of people and combed through WhatsApp, texts, photos and construction logs to get the facts.

She is expected to provide an account of events, a detailed account of what happened and a conclusion of what the consequences should be.

It’s also due to the context of the gatherings, including what was said at a Covid press conference that day, what the law was at the time and what other events took place at Downing Street that day.
Boris Johnson is still facing questions about Partygate



AFP via Getty Images)

It’s unclear if the report will include images of the events. Ms Gray turned over more than 300 pictures from her investigation to the Met Police.

Whatever the format, she’s likely to be very critical of Downing Street culture.

No. 10 of your interim report sharply reprimanded the senior staff for “misleading management and judgment”.

She is said to have told friends she was surprised Mr Johnson only got away with a fine.

An ally told the Sunday Times: “Sue is not a lawyer but in her opinion the birthday party was the least egregious event she has investigated.”

What happens next?

It depends on the content of the report.

Boris Johnson has vowed to make a statement to MPs after the report is released, some of whom are reserving judgment on his future pending the investigation’s conclusion.

The Prime Minister is expected to try to cling to what Ms Gray’s report says, but his tarnished reputation is likely to take another blow.
Sue Gray has been tasked with investigating the Partygate scandal



PRU/AFP via Getty Images)

Tory MPs are nervous about two crucial by-elections next month – in Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton – where voters could punish Mr Johnson.

The report could spell disaster for other senior government figures, such as Civil Service chief Simon Case, who are reportedly likely to accept the fall of the scandal.

Separately, Mr Johnson faces an inquiry from the Privileges Committee into whether he misled Parliament by claiming no rules were broken at Downing Street.

Ministers who knowingly mislead the House of Commons are expected to resign.

No10 staffer ‘angry’ after Boris Johnson only received two Partygate questionnaires

Tory can't say who arranged secret talks between Boris Johnson and Sue Gray in disaster interview Sue Gray report: everything you need to know as a top official to release Partygate results

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