Sunday, January 16, 2022

The Downing Street Party inquiry is set to find that no laws have been broken

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An investigation into parties at Downing Street during the lockdown is said to have found the events did not break the law.

Sue Gray, the senior officer leading the investigation, has not uncovered sufficient criminal evidence to escalate the incidents to police. The times reports sources like say.

The Metropolitan Police have confirmed they are not conducting a criminal investigation into the gathering, although the Prime Minister has confirmed his presence and apologized. The force said it is in contact with the Cabinet Office about Ms Gray’s investigation and will review its position if it receives evidence of potential crime.

Boris Johnson may still be chastised for lack of judgment in attending the party, despite claims it was a work event, according to reports.

Ms Gray is expected to criticize Downing Street culture and the blurred lines between work and socializing. Whitehall sources said The guard Their investigation would reveal a “farcic” drinking culture.

She is also likely to avoid drawing a conclusion on whether the Prime Minister has breached the Ministerial Code, as that is not within her jurisdiction.

The terms of reference of Ms Gray’s inquiry, set out by the Cabinet Office, say its primary objective is to “quickly establish a general understanding of the nature of the gatherings, including attendance, scope and purpose, in relation to compliance with guidance then in force.” “.

It is not required to recommend any action, but the terms make it clear that it can assess whether “individual disciplinary action is warranted”.

However, there are doubts in Westminster that Ms Gray, a politically neutral and unelected civil servant, will see it as her job to make a finding so unequivocal that she would force Mr Johnson out of office.

Reports by government officials, however critical, tend to use diplomatic language that allows elected politicians to decide for themselves whether a colleague deserves punishment.

The times reported that Ms Gray could recommend disciplinary action against officials and special advisers involved in the events.

The Metropolitan Police have not opened an inquiry into the Downing Street gathering on May 20, 2020, which the Prime Minister has apologized for attending.

The force said they would review their position if Ms Gray’s inquest found evidence of possible crime.

Ms Gray was not given a deadline for her investigation, but the report on her findings is expected to be released next week.

However, it has already been delayed several times as new allegations against parties have surfaced.

When the report is ready, it will be delivered to Mr Johnson, who has pledged to publish it and make a statement to the House of Commons.

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