Top civil servant Susan “Sue” Gray has handed over her report on the alleged parties in the garden of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s residence to Downing Street. The report was also published online Monday afternoon.
The report states that “there was a failure in leadership and judgment.” Johnson will respond to the report Monday afternoon.
Sue Gray had been ordered to investigate the parties allegedly held in the garden of Johnson’s official residence during the lockdown. The prime minister himself has discussed the incidents several times and said he was not convinced that they were “parties”. He said that these were work-related meetings and that no rules were broken as a result.
Gray’s report was published online Monday afternoon. It contains some ‘general findings’. For example, some of the behaviour around these gatherings is said to be “hard to justify against the backdrop of the pandemic, when the government asked citizens to accept severe restrictions on their lives.”
But Gray also writes that the meetings demonstrate “a serious failure to uphold not only the high standards expected of those at the heart of government but the standards expected of the entire British population at the time.” .”
“Sometimes it seems that too little thought was given to what was happening across the country when considering the appropriateness of some of these gatherings, the risks they posed to public health and the way they might appear to the public. . The leadership and judgment of various parts of 10 Downing Street and the cabinet (of Johnson, ed.) have failed on several occasions. Some events should not have taken place. Other events should not have developed as they have.”
Sue Gray is said to have watched sixteen different meetings. Some of these took place on the same day. Twelve of those meetings are now also part of the police investigation. The report results from interviews with 70 people who attended 16 events. The published version of the document is described as “update”. However, it is not clear whether the full report will be released. This is because the London police had previously asked to report as little as possible in the report about facts that the force itself is still investigating.