Sue Gray Reportedly Receives 'Extremely Damning' Evidence From No 10 Police in 'Partygate' Probe

© REUTERS / PETER NICHOLLSPolice officers stand amid the NHS uniforms thrown by NHS staff and others protesting against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine rules at the entrance to Downing Street in London, Britain, January 22, 2022
Police officers stand amid the NHS uniforms thrown by NHS staff and others protesting against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine rules at the entrance to Downing Street in London, Britain, January 22, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.01.2022
Downing Street reportedly remains on pins and needles as time is ticking for the publication of senior civil servant Sue Gray's report on the alleged No 10 lockdown-breaking parties that took place in 2020 and 2021.
Sue Gray, the second permanent secretary at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, has received "extremely damning" evidence from Downing Street police who guarded the area during the purported No 10 parties held in 2021 and the year before, The Telegraph reports.

The newspaper cited unnamed sources as saying that while officers from the Metropolitan Police's Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command could not be compelled to speak to Gray, they were "only too willing" to provide cooperation regarding her current probe into the alleged Downing Street gatherings.

One of the sources claimed that "Met officers have spoken to Sue Gray now, as you would expect, and have been able to provide a lot of information".
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during the weekly question time debate at Parliament in London, Britain, January 12, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.01.2022
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"Put this way, if Boris Johnson is still prime minister by the end of the week, I'd be very surprised", the insider argued.

The remarks come as a separate unnamed source told The Mirror that Gray "wants the inquiry to be as robust as possible" and that former Johnson aide Dominic Cummings "is going to be interviewed by the time the inquiry concludes".

Cummings, whose interview is expected later on Monday, previously took to Twitter to allege that the UK prime minister had known in advance about a drinks party at his residence during the first COVID-related lockdown in May 2020, although Johnson insisted that he was not aware that it was a social gathering rather than a work event.
With the clock already ticking for the release of the report, the mood on Downing Street is reportedly "darkening" as more evidence pertaining to the alleged No 10 COVID rule-breaking parties comes to the fore. Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, for his part, refused to confirm if Gray's report will be released in full, emphasising that "the process for it, will be for the prime minister to decide".

"But […] there will be full transparency. He has said he will come back to the Commons and make a statement, so there will be full scrutiny", Raab told the BBC.

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner earlier stressed that a greater degree of transparency on the parties is needed, saying: "Boris Johnson cannot be allowed to cover up or obscure any of the truth when he has insisted on a hugely protracted internal probe to tell him which parties he attended and what happened in his own home".
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, wearing a face covering to stop the spread of coronavirus, carries his notes in a ministerial folder as he leaves from 10 Downing Street in central London on December 15, 2021, to take part in the weekly session of Prime Minister Questions (PMQs) at the House of Commons - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.01.2022
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According to Rayner, "the Sue Gray report must be published in its entirety with all accompanying evidence". UK media outlets earlier claimed that Gray's report may not contain accompanying evidence, including emails, text messages, and transcripts of interviews, as well as the precise details pertaining to the alleged Downing Street social gathering.

What began as claims about COVID rule-breaking parties at No 10 last year has now evolved into a multifaceted critique of the Conservative Party and the UK prime minister involving new allegations regarding alleged intimidation and blackmail used by Tory whips against rebellious backbenchers seeking to oust Boris Johnson.
The said lawmakers, who are currently awaiting the publication of Gray's report, purportedly plan to force the PM out of office by submitting enough no-confidence letters to the 1922 Committee so as to trigger a leadership challenge. Johnson, for his part, argues he's seen "no evidence" to support any of the "intimidation" claims, adding that his focus is on how the government should grapple with "the number one priority of the British people, which is coming through COVID".
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