Credit: Downing Street

Sue Gray’s report into the alleged social gatherings at Downing Street during the first Covid lockdown has revealed that the parties showed “a serious failure to observe not just the high standards expected of those working at the heart of Government but also of the standards expected of the entire British population at the time”.

“Against the backdrop of the pandemic, when the Government was asking citizens to accept far-reaching restrictions on their lives, some of the behaviour surrounding these gatherings is difficult to justify.

“At least some of the gatherings in question represent a serious failure to observe not just the high standards expected of those working at the heart of Government but also of the standards expected of the entire British population at the time.

“At times it seems there was too little thought given to what was happening across the country in considering the appropriateness of some of these gatherings, the risks they presented to public health and how they might appear to the public.

“There were failures of leadership and judgment by different parts of No 10 and the Cabinet Office at different times. Some of the events should not have been allowed to take place. Other events should not have been allowed to develop as they did.”

The document is a glimpse into the report, as aspects which may include potential criminality have been removed to allow for a police investigation by Met Police.

Number 10 will not be publishing a full report at this time, although they did promise to do so at first.

She added: “In respect of the gatherings that the Metropolitan Police has assessed as not reaching the threshold for criminal investigation, they have not requested any limitations be placed on the description of those events, however, I have decided not to publish factual accounts in relation to those four dates.

“I do not feel that I am able to do so without detriment to the overall balance of the findings.”

Gray’s report also added “A number of these gatherings should not have been allowed to take place or to develop in the way that they did.

“There is significant learning to be drawn from these events which must be addressed immediately across government. This does not need to wait for the police investigations to be concluded.”

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously said he was “deeply sorry for misjudgements” but stated he did not realise a gathering in the garden would be against the rules in the first lockdown.


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