Boris Johnson and Sue Grey have clashed over a controversial “secret assembly” between the pair, simply days earlier than her report into the Partygate scandal.
The senior civil servant’s workforce are livid a couple of No 10 declare that she initiated the get-together and that it centered on whether or not a few of 300 photographs of the lockdown events ought to be included in her report.
A spokesperson for the Grey inquiry rejected each recommendations and denied the assembly was for her “to make clear her intentions” for publication, as soon as the police investigation concluded.
The extraordinary briefing struggle will improve strain on Downing Road to elucidate why the assembly was held in any respect, about an inquiry it calls “fully impartial”.
Labour has warned what it calls a “secret assembly” will additional harm confidence within the investigation of the scandal, whereas the Liberal Democrats raised fears of “a sew up”.
The prime minister is amongst round 30 individuals who have been informed by Ms Grey that the report is more likely to title them – with a deadline of Sunday night for them to lodge any objections.
Publication is anticipated on Tuesday or Wednesday, after the Metropolitan Police introduced it had concluded its investigation with a complete of 126 fines issued to 83 individuals.
No 10 has recommended the assembly – round one month in the past – mentioned whether or not the photographs, handed over to the Met probe ought to be included in Ms Grey’s report.
That is rejected by the Grey workforce, which is astonished that Downing Road has sought to offer the impression that she initiated the talks, The Unbiased understands.
Mr Johnson has mentioned he needs as a lot info disclosed as potential, however No 10 has mentioned “knowledge safety” necessities would possibly require some to be held again.
The difficulty of releasing the photographs is alleged to be “a dwell query” – however they’re more likely to be demanded by the Commons inquiry into whether or not the prime minister lied to MPs regardless.
Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy chief mentioned: “Boris Johnson should urgently clarify why he held a secret assembly with Sue Grey to debate her report regardless of claiming her investigation was fully impartial.
“Public confidence within the course of is already depleted, and folks need to know the reality. The Sue Grey report should be printed in full and with all accompanying proof.”
Christine Jardine, a Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson, mentioned: “Any whiff of a sew up would make an absolute mockery of the report. This assembly should be defined.”
A No 10 spokesperson mentioned: “The PM didn’t request the assembly and hasn’t tried to affect the end result in anyway. It’s rightly for Sue to determine and it’s all completed independently.”
Nevertheless, the phrasing of the assertion appeared to depart open that the assembly had been requested by a Downing Road official, if not be the prime minister himself.