Downing St staff's WhatsApp messages and emails 'to be included in Sue Gray report'

21 May 2022, 00:41 | Updated: 21 May 2022, 00:45

Sue Gray's report will include messages and emails between Downing Street staff
Sue Gray's report will include messages and emails between Downing Street staff. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Incriminating WhatsApp messages and emails exchanged between members of Downing Street staff are set to be published as part of Sue Gray's Partygate report.

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The communications will be published to demonstrate that individuals were made aware of the fact they were breaking the law by holding gatherings in lockdown, The Times reports.

The paper also said Ms Gray is in the process of contacting key players in the scandal with a view to naming and shaming them in the report.

Among the 15 expected to be directly named is Prime Minister Boris Johnson, it is understood.

The Mirror said as a "courtesy" he had been given until Sunday night to raise any objections.

Read more: Sue Gray and Boris Johnson 'met in private to discuss Partygate report'

Read more: PM insists he won't stop Sue Gray from naming and shaming No10 aides who broke Covid rules

Ms Gray is contacting key individuals in the Partygate scandal
Ms Gray is contacting key individuals in the Partygate scandal. Picture: Alamy

It comes after it was revealed Ms Gray and Mr Johnson had met in private to discuss her report some weeks ago.

It is understood the meeting took place before the conclusion of the Metropolitan Police's investigation into the parties, but after she published her "update" on her own investigation at the end of January.

Despite the meeting, No 10 has insisted Mr Johnson wants the report to be "completely independent".

The spokesperson also said Ms Gray had not shown the Prime Minister the content of her investigation.

However opposition parties have said Boris Johnson must "explain" the meeting, and that any hint of collaboration between the pair would make a "mockery" of the report.

"Boris Johnson must urgently explain why he held a secret meeting with Sue Gray to discuss her report despite claiming her investigation was completely independent," said deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner.

"Public confidence in the process is already depleted, and people deserve to know the truth.

"This is a Prime Minister incapable of taking responsibility for the rotten culture he has created in Downing Street or of doing the decent thing.

"The Sue Gray report must be published in full and with all accompanying evidence."

Read more: 'Boris didn't get away with Partygate': Raab says it's up to Sue Gray to name and shame

Ms Gray's report will be published next week
Ms Gray's report will be published next week. Picture: Alamy

Read more: Sue Gray 'ready to name and shame key Partygate players' and may publish photos of events

Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine said: "Any whiff of a stitch up would make an absolute mockery of the report.

"This meeting must be explained.

"Most of the country already feels betrayed by Boris Johnson.

"He has undermined public trust and the public deserve a process that is completely transparent and beyond question."

The Metropolitan Police concluded its investigation into lockdown-breaching parties at Downing Street on Thursday.

A total of 126 Fixed Penalty Notices were issued as part of Operation Hillman.

The Prime Minister received one at an earlier stage of the investigation.

Read more: Boris in the clear as Met ends Partygate inquiry after 126 fines but no more for PM

Read more: Boris has 'without a doubt' harmed party's reputation, Tory councillor says

With the Met's investigation finished, attention has turned to Ms Gray's much-anticipated report.

An update was published at the end of January, but Mr Johnson has repeatedly said a full, unredacted version could not be published until the police probe was over.

On Friday the Prime Minister said he was "looking forward" to seeing the contents of the report and said it would be published next week.

Asked whether names would be blocked from appearing, during a visit to Powys, Wales, Mr Johnson said: "That will be entirely up to Sue Gray."