'The PM has been bailed out': Ian Blackford blasts Met after Sue Gray report request

28 January 2022, 17:08 | Updated: 28 January 2022, 17:11

By Tim Dodd

Boris Johnson has been "bailed out" in what appears to be a "stitch up" between the Cabinet Office and the Metropolitan Police, SNP MP Ian Blackford has argued amid the partygate scandal.

Two probes into events in Downing Street and Whitehall that allegedly broke Covid rules are underway - one by Scotland Yard, which was announced this week, and one by Ms Gray, a senior civil servant.

Her long-awaited findings could be delayed because of the police probe, as the Met has asked Sue Gray to keep her references to the events police are probing to a minimum.

It was unclear on Friday morning whether this would amount to Ms Gray’s report getting watered down.

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

"So, what now?" Shelagh asked Mr Blackford.

"Oh my goodness this is a farce, isn't it," Mr Blackford replied.

"We've been waiting and waiting and waiting this week for the Sue Gray report, for that moment for Parliament to do its job, hold the Prime Minister to account for the culture of partying that's gone on at 10 Downing Street... and we find out this morning it's been kicked into the long grass. This simply isn't acceptable.

"He's been bailed out by what appears to be a stitch-up between the Cabinet office and the Metropolitan police."

Shelagh pointed out that the public should be told "what changed to shift the Met's position on Tuesday" from having no objections to the report being published, to requesting "barely" any of it be shared until their investigations are over.

Mr Blackford continued: "It's an extraordinary situation in many respects because this is meant to be a fact-finding report. I've never heard [of] a fact-finding report that can be published with no facts."

Read more: D-Day for Boris? Partygate report 'fairly imminent' Liz Truss tells LBC

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