Boris Johnson could get redacted partygate report as early as this weekend

28 January 2022, 23:24 | Updated: 29 January 2022, 09:03

No10 is expected to receive Sue Gray's report in coming days
No10 is expected to receive Sue Gray's report in coming days. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Sue Gray is set to go ahead with publishing her report looking into several alleged No10 lockdown parties "imminently", despite a request from the Met police to heavily censor findings.

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It is understood that the report could be sent to Downing Street over the weekend but it is not expected to be made public until next week when MPs return to the Commons.

It will be redacted to meet a request by the Metropolitan Police not to include anything that could prejudice its own inquiry.

The move will mean Ms Gray is not waiting for the Metropolitan Police to carry out their probe into the party claims.

Read more: Met denies delaying partygate report and pledges to probe 'without fear or favour'

It comes as the force denied delaying the publication of the report, saying when it is released is "a matter for the Cabinet Office inquiry team".

However, the Met did confirm that it had asked Ms Gray to make "minimal reference" in her report to the events being investigated.

In a statement released on Friday, Commander Catherine Roper said: "In order to protect the integrity of the police investigation, as is appropriate in any case, and to be as fair as possible to those who are subject to it, the Met has asked for minimal reference to be made in the Cabinet Office report to the relevant events.

"This will only be necessary until these matters are concluded, and is to give detectives the most reliable picture of what happened at these events. We intend to complete our investigations promptly, fairly and proportionately.

"We have not delayed this report and the timing of its release is a matter for the Cabinet Office inquiry team."

The force had initially refused to look into the claims over a lack of evidence.

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

Following the revelation, MPs were quick to condemn the Government and Met Commissioner Cressida Dick.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said: "Anything short of the full report would be a Whitehall whitewash not worth the paper it is written on."

Meanwhile, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford MP said: "No-one will accept a Westminster cover-up.

"If the UK Government refuses to publish the full unredacted report it will prove, yet again, that Westminster is utterly corrupt and broken beyond repair.

"It won't save Boris Johnson's skin. It will only add to the calls for him to go."

Read more: No10 officers feared 'snooping' accusations if they acted on partygate, ex-top cop says

The move to water down findings was also questioned by a senior police source, who told LBC it would be unusual if officers guarding Downing Street had not already passed information up to their bosses.

"[The police] are so far behind the curve, if they had done it straight away it would have been straight forward," he said.

"It is terribly straight forward – there's lots of cops about, there's lots of dairies… I would line the cops up [and ask them if they knew anything]."It would be very odd if nothing had been passed up the chain."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said earlier on Friday that the Government had been "paralysed" by the looming Sue Gray investigation, calling for both reports to be published as soon as possible.

"What I want to see is Sue Gray's report in full and the investigation finished as quickly as possible," Sir Keir said.

"Because we're in this situation where the whole of Government is paralysed because the police are looking at what the Prime Minister was getting up to in Downing Street."

Read more: Cummings gives 'partygate' evidence to Sue Gray as pressure mounts on beleaguered Boris

The string of allegations thrown the PM's way have taken over Westminster in recent months, with him said to be planning big changes in a bid to win back support from the Tories as well as the public.

The release of Ms Gray's long-awaited report will mark crunch time for the Prime Minister, who faces a growing threat to his position.

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

A number of alleged gatherings - the latest being a birthday bash planned by his wife, Carrie - are said to have taken place throughout 2020 and 2021.