Boris says he will publish Sue Gray partygate probe in full as findings expected next week

27 January 2022, 13:26 | Updated: 27 January 2022, 15:26

Boris Johnson is fighting for his political future as the nation awaits the report into Partygate
Boris Johnson is fighting for his political future as the nation awaits the report into Partygate. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Boris Johnson has said he will publish Sue Gray's partygate probe in full and is not delaying it, as suggestions grow it will not be released until next week.

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The embattled Prime Minister, who is fighting to keep his job, will face a crunch-time for his premiership when the hotly-anticipated findings are released.

Ms Gray, a senior civil servant, is investigating a series of gatherings at Downing Street and Whitehall that allegedly broke Covid rules.

The Metropolitan Police has also launched an investigation while Mr Johnson has insisted he does not believe he has broken the law.

There is confusion over how Ms Gray's report will come out but, after speculation it would come some time this week, it is thought now any findings that are published will not come out until next week, though that has not been confirmed.

Asked by reporters if he was delaying publication, Mr Johnson said: "Absolutely not."

He said he could not comment further on when it would cone out, but when asked if he would publish it in full, he replied: "Of course," he replies.

Reports say it is being combed over by lawyers for issues relating to the Met's investigation. Downing Street said it was "hypothetically possible to still publish it today or tomorrow".

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Mr Johnson has said he "regrets" not strictly enforcing lockdown rules in Downing Street but has refused to quit over the saga.

A raft of events are said to have taken there when England was in various stages of Covid restrictions during 2020 and 2021.

He has had to apologise to MPs for attending a drinks do in the Downing Street garden, which he said he thought was a work event, and to the Queen for a party held by staff on the eve of Prince Philip's funeral, which the monarch attended under Covid rules.

Now, Mr Johnson has launched a blitz to convince people he is the right man to lead the UK, admitting "serious mistakes". He held one-to-one meetings with 15 MPs to convince them about his leadership while allowing them to air grievances.

No10 has said it "intends" to fully publish Ms Gray's inquiry but did not provide a concrete pledge. There have been suggestions the Met's own inquiry could result in parts of Ms Gray's report not being published if they relate to what police are probing.

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However, reports said the Met has had no objection to it being published.

While it was previously thought Ms Gray's findings would come out this week, it is thought less likely now because Thursday is Holocaust Memorial Day, and many MPs will head back to their constituencies in the afternoon.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the Commons, has said the report's release would be important enough to recall the Commons.