No10 staff will see Sue Gray report before answering police partygate questionnaire

18 February 2022, 21:29 | Updated: 18 February 2022, 21:40

No10 staff will see redacted partygate report before answering police questionnaire
No10 staff will see redacted partygate report before answering police questionnaire. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

Downing Street staff being questioned by police about allegedly attending lockdown breaching parties across Whitehall will be allowed to view notes on the evidence they gave to the Sue Gray inquiry.

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It is understood their access to this material will be limited to information gathered during their own interviews, and no-one else's.

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to submit his answers to police questions about the partygate allegations on Friday.

The Metropolitan Police has sent a questionnaire to approximately 50 people as it conducts its inquiry, titled Operation Hillman, which is examining whether Covid restrictions were broken in Downing Street and across Whitehall.

Mr Johnson's questionnaire is due back on Friday, a week after he received it with Downing Street confirming his responses will not be made public.

ITV News reported that staff were told they can view notes on their own interviews in a letter from Ms Gray.

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The letter reportedly said: "I appreciate that this is a worrying time for those affected by this process, which I do not wish to compound."

The broadcaster said Ms Gray went on to say that "in light of particular circumstances surrounding this set of events, I have, as an exceptional measure, decided that individuals may be provided with limited access to the notes".

ITV said staff were told they can view the notes in a "time limited" session, in person, "with a member of the investigation team present".

They will reportedly not be allowed to bring any legal representative with them, nor phones, tablets, computers or any other recording equipment.

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The letter is also cited as saying individuals will not be permitted to "challenge, suggest changes or amendments to the notes or otherwise challenge their contents".

It reportedly said: "The focus for individuals should be on completing the police questionnaire within the timeline given.

"Access to notes from previous interviews are not necessary to do this, nor is it standard practice in internal investigations such as this to share or agree such notes with interviewees."

The Cabinet Office declined to comment.