Minister disputes claims No 10 pushed Sue Grey to dilute Partygate report | Grey report

A senior minister has disputed claims Sue Grey was pressured to water down her report into law-breaking events throughout Westminster, saying he’s “completely assured” the investigation had been totally impartial.

Brandon Lewis, the Northern Eire secretary, dismissed strategies that senior figures in Downing Avenue pushed for element concerning the so-called “Abba social gathering” in Boris Johnson’s flat throughout lockdown and employees members’ names to be stripped out.

The allegations have been reported within the Sunday Occasions, which stated Grey was lobbied to change key passages of her report on the eve of its publication by three folks: Steve Barclay, the prime minister’s chief of employees, Simon Case, the cupboard secretary, and Alex Chisholm, the everlasting secretary for the Cupboard Workplace.

Earlier within the week, the Guardian revealed how Tory MPs feared there had been a “cover-up” over the Abba social gathering, which Grey has admitted she didn’t totally examine.

Lewis didn’t explicitly deny that Grey had been pressured into altering her report as a result of he stated he was not concerned within the inquiry, however stated “anyone who has labored in No 10” knew that “that type of factor wouldn’t work”.

He instructed Sky Information’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “I’m assured, significantly now that No 10 have outrightly made the purpose and denied that this occurred, that Sue Grey had the liberty to jot down the report that she was comfy to jot down and publish.”

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Given the Metropolitan police didn’t subject any fixed-penalty notices for the occasion, Lewis stated this “backed up” Downing Avenue’s denial of the story.

Requested how the media and the general public might belief No 10 after it initially denied Covid guidelines have been damaged, Lewis stated: “It’s a totally different Downing Avenue, you’ve acquired a distinct crew of individuals, the chief of employees is totally different – the crew you’re speaking about who work with the prime minister, who lead on these points.

“Steve Barclay himself is new and wasn’t there on the time of these unique errors.”

Johnson will most likely face additional complications, given his former high adviser Dominic Cummings stated proof of “crimes within the flat” the place Johnson lived had been ignored by the Metropolitan police and Cupboard Workplace.

Labour stated Johnson wanted to elucidate why figures in No 10 “interfered in an investigation he had claimed was impartial and leant on Sue Grey”.

Angela Rayner, the social gathering’s deputy chief, stated: “It’s about time the general public have been instructed the reality, however this prime minister can now not be trusted to inform it.”

Johnson faces an investigation prone to start subsequent month into whether or not he misled parliament by denying for weeks that any Covid guidelines have been damaged.

Anneliese Dodds, the Labour social gathering chair, stated not sufficient Conservative MPs had determined but whether or not to attempt to depose Johnson or put the Partygate scandal behind him.

“We expect that in the end politics needs to be clear, it needs to be a drive for good,” she stated. “We should always have all politicians held to excessive requirements.”

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