Sue Gray: Whitehall ‘terrified’ with Boris Johnson’s future in her hands

Before allegations of 10th class parties were made public, few had heard of Sue Grey, one of the country’s highest-ranking civil servants.

But after being tasked with investigating claims that Downing Street employees, including Boris Johnson, continuously breaking the restrictions of Covid-19Gray now holds the prime minister’s fate “in her hands”, Time speak.

The role will mean a “significant return to prominence” for a 65-year-old senior civil servant once billed as the “terrifying General Manager of Whitehall”.

‘The Woman Who Runs Britain’

As permanent secretary of the Department for Upgrades, Housing and Communities, her “reputable reputation” at Westminster was forged during her years as superintendent of ethics and ethics in the Office of the Interior. the, a role she held from 2012 to 2018, according to the Financial Times (FT).

“Westminster has a lot of big burns” she took on in taking on the role, including that of former deputy prime minister Damian Green, who quit after an investigation led by Gray found he had made “inaccurate and misleading” claims about what he knew about claims that pornography was found on his office computer in 2008.

She also “had a hand” in the resignations of former police chief Andrew Mitchell and former defense secretary Liam Fox, the newspaper added.

At the time, she was described by the BBC Night Policy editor Chris Cook is “the most powerful public servant you’ve never heard of”.

However, Cook also reported that Gray had previously advised special advisers to cancel emails by “double deletion” in an attempt to “Hidden” Freedom of Information requestswhich are frequently used by journalists when investigating public authorities.

A former advisor told Politico Those who worked on Whitehall nicknamed her “the Sue Gray district” because “everything she does is so murky”. “There was never any trace of paperwork. There were never any records,” they added. “Her job is to make bad things go away for the prime minister though she can.”

Former Cabinet minister Oliver Letwin has speculated that her influence makes her potentially as powerful as the prime minister, according to quotes from his diaries cited by the FT.

“It took me exactly two years before I realized who was running England. Our great UK is actually run entirely by a woman named Sue Grey, head of ethics or something in the Cabinet Office. Unless she agrees, nothing will happen.”

Abnormal increase

Gray began her career as a civil servant in the 1970s, with roles in transport, healthcare, work and pensions.

She is married to Western singer Bill Conlon, Northern Ireland, leaving her civilian job to run a pub in County Down, an area so dangerously close to the border with Ireland that it has been nicknamed the “Bandit Country,” according to The Times. “I loved it, loved it at the time, I would never do it again,” she later said. BBC.

She was “ludged back to London” to work in the Cabinet Office under Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, reports Guardians. According to a former Blair mentor, she’s a “fixer,” someone who “works in the shadows to check potential ranks and solve problems.”

Under David Cameron, she was given another key role after making “an impression on the new government on its first day in office in 2010,” according to former prime minister George Osborne.

“Thirty minutes after the Labor team left, everyone was whispering to David Cameron,” former prime minister tweeted in December. “Then someone said: ‘I’m sorry PM but you can’t do that.’ ‘Who’s that?’ I ask. Sue Grey. ”

In 2018, she unexpectedly left Whitehall to take on a new role as permanent secretary of Northern Ireland’s finance department. In 2020, she applied to be Northern Ireland’s head of civil service, but told the BBC she failed to land the role because of “too many challenges”.

What might she discover?

Based on walkie talkie, Gray “found an email that allegedly confirmed concerns had been raised about a locked garden drinks event prior to it taking place”. The email, allegedly sent by a senior No 10 official, “questioned whether the invitation”, sent by Johnson’s chief private secretary, “broke the lockdown rules”.

The paper’s political editor, Ben Riley-Smith, said evidence against the event “could complicate Downing Street’s defense as it suggests there is internal opposition”. But it “may not explicitly cut the prime minister’s protection”.

Officials with knowledge of the deadlocked parties’ investigation told the FT that Gray is “deeply aware” of the political consequences of the findings of her investigation – findings that could end Johnson’s career. “She has to walk very carefully, even by her standards,” said one.

Hannah White, deputy director of the Institute for Government Studies, predicts: “As far as she can, she will stick to reality. “The consequences of her report could be severe, but they won’t come to Sue Gray’s voice.

“But she will have to give some indication of who went and the numbers,” she added. “If there are allegations about politicians, she will have to look into that.”

Gray’s report is not expected to be released “until next week after numerous delays due to the emergence of new evidence”, News page i reported. She was initially “hoping to send the findings to Johnson by the end of this week”.

The site’s political editor Hugo Gye said: “Johnson’s No 10 team was” dismayed by the delay, fearing that the longer the prime minister remained in limbo, the greater the risk of a successful uprising against his leadership”.

The time of publication is expected to “end affect when any vote on leadership takes placeif enough MPs issue letters of no-confidence in the coming days”.

https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/uk-news/955390/who-is-sue-gray-civil-servant-boris-johnson-political-future Sue Gray: Whitehall ‘terrified’ with Boris Johnson’s future in her hands

Fry Electronics Team

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