PM treated 'differently' by Met over partygate inquiry, says barrister Jolyon Maugham

29 January 2022, 16:24

There is 'quite a lot of evidence of something funny going on'

By Tim Dodd

Good Law Project Director Jolyon Maugham tells LBC the Met Police are "treating the Prime Minister differently to how they'd treat you or I" in their involvement with the Sue Gray report investigating partygate.

It comes after the Met asked civil servant Sue Gray to make "minimal reference" in her report to the events being investigated so as to not include anything that could prejudice its own inquiry.

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

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

"We're really not in a good place, we're in a very, very bad place," Mr Maugham told Andrew Pierce.

"I'm not sure I agree with you, I have to say, that there is no evidence of collusion.

"If you look at the Met's statement from yesterday morning, they talk about ongoing conversations between themselves and the Cabinet Office.

"If the Met's investigating you, they don't have ongoing conversations with you about the nature and scope of that investigation.

"They have those conversations with the Cabinet Office because they are treating the Prime Minister differently to how they'd treat you or I."

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

Mr Maugham continued: "If you look at the reasons that the Met gave to us when their stance was that they shouldn't investigate, their reasons were firstly that the Prime Minister had told them that no crimes had been committed.

"But if you were confronted by the rozzers and you said 'don't worry officer, I haven't committed any crimes', they wouldn't go away.

"Ditto, they said that they wouldn't investigate because Sue Gray was carrying out an inquiry, that was their original position. But if you told the police who were investigating you 'there is no need for you to investigate because I've appointed one of my subordinates to carry out an investigation', again they wouldn't have listened.

"I think people are right to think that there is something funny going on... there's actually quite a lot of evidence of something funny going on."

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