Boris' birthday bash and Cummings' exit celebrations among parties probed by police

31 January 2022, 15:29 | Updated: 31 January 2022, 17:37

Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street on Monday
Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street on Monday. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Police are investigating eight dates of gatherings looked at by Sue Gray as part of her inquiry.

They include a gathering in the No 10 Downing Street flat - the home of Boris and Carrie Johnson - on the day Dominic Cummings left his job as special adviser to the Prime Minister, as well as an event in the Cabinet Room on the PM's birthday.

Sue Gray said "as a result of information provided by the Cabinet Office investigation team, as well as assessments made by Metropolitan Police officers" there were only four dates mentioned in her report that police were not looking into.

The gatherings being probed took place across eight different dates.

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The gatherings being investigated are:

May 20, 2020: a gathering in the garden of No 10 Downing Street for No 10 staff

June 18, 2020: a gathering in the Cabinet Office, 70 Whitehall on the departure of a No 10 private secretary

June 19, 2020: a gathering in the Cabinet Room in No 10 Downing Street on the Prime Minister's birthday

November 13, 2020: a gathering in the No 10 Downing Street flat; a gathering in No 10 Downing Street on the departure of a special adviser

December 17, 2020: a gathering in Cabinet Office, 70 Whitehall to hold an online Christmas quiz for the Cabinet Secretary's private office; a gathering in Cabinet Office, 70 Whitehall on the departure of a senior Cabinet Office official; a gathering in No 10 Downing Street on the departure of a No 10 official

December 18, 2020: a gathering in No 10 Downing Street ahead of the Christmas break

January 14, 2021: a gathering in No 10 Downing Street on the departure of two No 10 private secretaries

April 16, 2021: a gathering in No10 Downing Street on the departure of a senior No10 official; a gathering in No 10 Downing Street on the departure of another No 10 official

The four gatherings which are not being investigated include:

May 15, 2020: a photograph showing a number of groups in the garden of No 10 Downing Street

November 27, 2020: a gathering in No 10 Downing Street on the departure of a special adviser

December 10, 2020: a gathering in the Department for Education ahead of the Christmas break

December 15, 2020: a gathering in No 10 Downing Street for an online Christmas quiz

Ms Gray said in her report: "No conclusions should be drawn, or inferences made from this other than it is now for the police to consider the relevant material in relation to those incidents."

She said it did not mean police "will decide to take further action or that there has necessarily been a breach of the regulations".

Ms Gray said it was "not possible at present to provide a meaningful report" setting out all she discovered, due to the ongoing police investigation.

"As a result of the Metropolitan Police's investigations, and so as not to prejudice the police investigative process, they have told me that it would only be appropriate to make minimal reference to the gatherings on the dates they are investigating," she said.

"Unfortunately, this necessarily means that I am extremely limited in what I can say about those events and it is not possible at present to provide a meaningful report setting out and analysing the extensive factual information I have been able to gather."

She also said she decided not to publish factual accounts relating to events not under investigation by police because it would damage her overall findings.

She wrote: "In respect of the gatherings that the Metropolitan Police has assessed as not reaching the threshold for criminal investigation, they have not requested any limitations be placed on the description of those events, however, I have decided not to publish factual accounts in relation to those four dates.

"I do not feel that I am able to do so without detriment to the overall balance of the findings."