Final Sue Gray report ‘will not make comfortable reading for Boris Johnson’

Tuesday’s announcement of a fresh tranche of fines came as Scotland Yard faced mounting pressure to wrap up its “partygate” investigation ahead of the local elections in May.

The Metropolitan Police launched a criminal inquiry into illegal Downing Street gatherings on Jan 25, but until Tuesday had been making slow progress, with only a handful of fixed penalty notices handed out in relation to two or three of the 12 events it is investigating.

It is understood detectives were told to step up the pace amidst concern that any further delays could result in damaging fines being handed out after local election campaigning had begun.

The official period of purdah – when restrictions are placed on government departments in the run-up to an election – begins on Thursday.

And while police investigations are not subject to such rules, senior Met figures were conscious of the potential fallout of making politically sensitive announcements during an election campaign.

Sources have told The Telegraph that purdah rules will not prevent Ms Gray from publishing her findings next week, even if the Met investigation is not fully concluded.

With the May elections looming, however, any further delay in releasing the report would be seen as problematic, meaning if it is not published next week, it could be another month before the findings are made public.

The announcement that Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak were among 30 more people to receive fixed penalty notices came with Parliament in recess, meaning MPs were not able to challenge them in the chamber.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.