Politics

Boris Johnson refuses to promise publication of Gray report in full

BORIS Johnson has said he will decide how much of Sue Gray’s uncensored partygate report is ultimately published, after repeatedly failing to commit to releasing it in full.

The Prime Minister said he would “take a decision” after the Metropolitan Police concluded their probe into a dozen potentially criminal lockdown parties across Whitehall.

Ms Gray’s report, which she admitted was not yet “meaningful” because of police requests for material to be held back, was submitted to Downing Street this morning.

The Government then published it, saying it had released what it received it in full.

However the report, which found failures of leadership and a booze culture at Number 10, was severely limited, with the most serious claims of lockdown breaches yet to be detailed. 

Announcing plans for a shake-up of the Downing Street operation to MPs, Mr Johnson was asked by Labour MP Diane Abott whether he would undertake to publish Ms Gray’s unexurgated findings when he was able to do so.

Mr Johnson said Ms Gray had published everything she could and proposed waiting to the conclusion of the Met investigation before doing anything else.

Former Tory chief whip Mark Harper then tried to pin down Mr Johnson again. 

He told the Commons: “The question here is whether those who make the law, obey the law. That’s pretty fundamental.

“Many have questioned, including my constituents, the Prime Minister’s honesty, integrity and fitness to hold that office. In judging him he rightly asked us to wait for all the facts.

“Sue Gray has made it clear in her update today that she couldn’t produce a meaningful report with the facts.

“So could I ask the Prime Minister the question (Ms Abbott) asked him and to which he didn’t give an answer: when Sue Gray produces all of the facts in her full report after the police investigation, will he commit to publish it immediately and in full?”

Mr Johnson replied: “What we’ve got to do is wait for the police to conclude their inquiries, that is the proper thing to do.

“People have given all sorts of evidence in the expectation that it would not necessarily be published, at that stage I will take a decision about what to publish.”

Tory MP Julian Lewis also said he believed Mr Johnson could receive the full uncensored Gray report if he asked for it, and urged him to do so and then publish it.

However the Prime Minister brushed aside the remarks.

The Tory MP Tobias Ellwood, chair of the Commons defence committee, said on Twitter that if the PM failed to publish the Gray report in full “then he will no longer have nmy support”.

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