Cabinet minister ‘confident’ there was no Number 10 interference in Gray report
Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis has said he is “confident” there was no Number 10 interference in the Sue Gray report into partygate amid reports to the contrary.
The Sunday Times reported today that three senior government officials, including top civil servant Simon Case, lobbied Gray to water down her report on the eve of its release.
It was reported that they tried to persuade Gray to omit names from the report and to change passages relating to Boris Johnson’s wife Carrie.
Changes were reportedly made to the final report into the Downing Street parties scandal to remove passages about Carrie Johnson’s Abba night party on 13 November.
Lewis said that he did “not recognise” the reports.
“Not only am I confident of that, but I know Sue Gray well enough to know pressure on Sue Gray would not have an outcome.” Lewis told the BBC.
“Sue Gray is not somebody who is pressured into doing things by anybody.
“She has put out a report that she is happy with, that she is confident about.”
Gray’s 37-page report revealed a pattern of brazen rule-breaking by Downing Street staff throughout 2020 and 2021.
This included one event in June 2020, which lasted late into the night and saw one person vomit and two other people fighting.
The report shows senior staff clearly knew they were breaking their own Covid rules, with former communications director Lee Cain warning on multiple occasions that having staff parties was a bad idea.
The Prime Minister said he was unaware that any of the lockdown-busting Downing Street events were in breach of his own rules, while also vowing to take “full responsibility” for the saga in an apology to the House of Commons.