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Boris Johnson and Sue Gray clash over ‘secret meeting’ about Partygate report

Boris Johnson and Sue Gray clash over ‘secret meeting’ about Partygate report
Report team furious about No 10 claim Gray initiated the talks – while opposition parties demand answers

ボリス・ジョンソン そして Sue Gray have clashed over a controversial “secret meeting” between the pair, just days before the publication of Ms Gray’s final report into the Partygate スキャンダル.

The senior civil servant’s team are furious about a No 10 請求 that she initiated the get-together and that it focused on whether some of around 300 photos of the lockdown parties should be included in her report.

A spokesperson for the Gray inquiry rejected both suggestions and denied that the meeting was for the report’s author “to clarify her intentions” prior to its publication once the police investigation was concluded.

The extraordinary briefing war will increase pressure on Downing Street to explain why the meeting was held at all in relation to an inquiry it has described as “completely independent”.

労働 has warned that what it calls a “secret meeting” will further damage confidence in the investigation of the scandal, 一方、 Liberal Democrats raised fears of a “stitch-up”.

The prime minister is among as many as 30 people who have been told by Ms Gray that the report is likely to name them and given a deadline of Sunday evening to lodge any objections.

Publication is expected on Tuesday or Wednesday next week, 後に 警視庁 announced on Thursday that it had concluded its investigation with a total of 126 fines having been issued to 83 人.

番号 10 has suggested that the meeting – which took place around a month ago – discussed whether the photos handed over to the Metropolitan Police should be included in Ms Gray’s report.

This suggestion was rejected by those working for Ms Gray, who were astonished that Downing Street had sought to give the impression that Ms Gray had initiated the discussion, 独立者 理解している.

Mr Johnson has said he wants as much information to be disclosed as possible, but No 10 has said that “data protection” requirements might require some to be held back.

The issue of releasing the photos is said to be a “live question”, but regardless of the outcome, access to the images is likely to be demanded by those working on the Commons inquiry into whether the prime minister lied to MPs.

アンジェラ・レイナー, Labour’s deputy leader, 前記: “Boris Johnson must urgently explain why he held a secret meeting with Sue Gray to discuss her report, despite claiming her investigation was completely independent.

“Public confidence in the process is already depleted, and people deserve to know the truth. The Sue Gray report must be published in full and with all accompanying evidence.”

Christine Jardine, a Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson, 前記: “Any whiff of a stitch-up would make an absolute mockery of the report. This meeting must be explained.”

いいえ 10 広報担当者は言った: “The PM did not request the meeting and hasn’t tried to influence the outcome in any way. It’s right for Sue to decide, and it’s all done independently.”

しかしながら, the phrasing of the statement appeared to leave open the question of the meeting having been requested by a Downing Street official, if not by the prime minister himself.