IAN Blackford has warned the investigation into lockdown parties at No 10 “increasingly looks like a cover up” after police asked for “minimal reference” to be made to events under criminal investigation in a long-awaited report.
Senior civil servant Sue Gray is expected to hand over her report into a host of alleged lockdown-breaking gatherings that have taken place at Downing Street to Boris Johnson.
The Met police has also launched a criminal investigation into some of the alleged parties.
The force has now asked “for minimal reference” to be made in the Sue Gray report to alleged incidents on Downing Street the force is currently investigating.
In a statement, it said: “For the events the Met is investigating, we asked for minimal reference to be made in the Cabinet Office report.
“The Met did not ask for any limitations on other events in the report, or for the report to be delayed, but we have had ongoing contact with the Cabinet Office, including on the content of the report, to avoid any prejudice to our investigation.”
The SNP’s Westminster leader has called for the report to “be published in full and undoctored without further delay”.
He added: “This UK Government farce has gone on long enough.
“People are understandably concerned that this increasingly looks like a cover up.
“It is a fact that Boris Johnson broke the rules, lied about it, and misled Parliament. This is an extremely serious resignation matter – and he must be held to account.
“The Prime Minister cannot be allowed to wriggle off the hook by using the Metropolitan Police investigation as an excuse to further delay or doctor the report.
“This cannot be another Whitewall whitewash. There must be maximum transparency.
“Any attempt to cover this up or delay the inevitable would be completely unacceptable – and would erode any last remnants of public trust in the Westminster Government.”
The Liberal Democrats have warned against giving the appearance of an “establishment stitch-up” between Scotland Yard and the Sue Gray inquiry.
The party’s home affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael said: “So first the police were waiting for Sue Gray, now Sue Gray has to wait for the police?
“Any appearance of an establishment stitch-up between the Met Commissioner and the Government is profoundly damaging. Police officers need the trust and confidence of the public to do their jobs and keep our communities safe.
“The Sue Gray report must be published in full, including all photos, text messages and other evidence. If it is redacted now, a full, unredacted version must be published as soon as the police investigation is complete.”
A UK Government minister has said that the details that will be included in the report is for Ms Gray and the police to “work out between them”.
Technology minister Chris Philp, asked on ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme about the development, said: “The way that the Sue Gray report gets put together is something that is a matter entirely for Sue Gray. It is up to her and the police how to handle that.
“Clearly, between Sue Gray and the police, this will get fully investigated – as it should.”
He added: “But the important thing to say is that the Government have no influence and no involvement in how Sue Gray and the police conduct their respective reports and investigations, which is right – it is right they are fully independent.
“So, between the two of them, they will cover all of the incidents that need investigating so the public and Parliament have a full and proper account. But that is up to Sue Gray and the police to work that out between them – it is not something the Government should or would interfere with.”