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Top Stories: Tory Fury Over Sue Gray Labour Job, Energy Price Cap Freeze, Lawyers Interview Dominic Raab

Sue Gray. (Alamy)

4 min read

Anger is growing in the Conservative party over Sue Gray's appointment as Labour leader Keir Starmer's chief of staff – with some now claiming her Partygate report was a "left wing stitch up".

Labour confirmed speculation surrounding Gray's appointment on Thursday afternoon, with the Cabinet Office confirming they had received her resignation.

A Labour party spokesperson said: "The Labour Party has offered Sue Gray the role of chief of staff to the leader of the opposition.

"We understand she hopes to accept the role subject to the normal procedures. Keir Starmer is delighted she is hoping to join our preparation for government and our mission to build a better Britain."

Gray, who is a veteran of the civil service, was appointed by Boris Johnson to lead the investigation into whether illegal aprties were held on Downing Street during lockdown. Following the release of the report he claimed he had been "vindicated". 

But a number of Tories have condemned her planned move, which is yet to be approved by the The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba).

Nadine Dorries, Johnson ally and former culture secretary, suggested it supports her theory of a "stitch up" of the former prime minister. 

"Sue Gray move to Starmer's office not surprising," said Dorries on Thursday. 

"Whilst writing report, she used QC who tweeted out pro Labour anti gov tweets whilst Alistair Campbell heaped praise upon her.

"Her comms assistant briefed against Johnson from day 1. The Gray report was a stitch up of PM and CSs."

Jacob Rees-Mogg, also a staunch ally of Johnson and a former cabinet minister, suggested it left a question mark over the impartiality of the Civil Service.  

"So much for an impartial Civil Service, the Gray report now looks like a left wing stitch up against a Tory Prime Minister," said Rees-Mogg. 

Shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell defended Gray's impartiality at the civil service on Good Morning Britain this morning. 

"I've actually had some previous dealings with Sue Gray and I always found her to be an incredibly professional, impartial and generous person who was really good at her job," said Powell. 

Energy companies expect government to keep energy price cap at £2,500

According to the BBC, number of energy companies are planning to maintain their average yearly energy usage price cap at £2,500 next month despite government plans to increase the cap to £3,000.

The government's planned £500 increase is set to see energy prices rise by 20% in April, with chancellor Jeremy Hunt so far rejecting calls to stop a change to the cap. 

Energy billA number of charities and campaigners called on the government to keep the cap at £2,500 or risk an increase in fuel poverty as the cost of living crisis deepens. 

Money saving expert and consumer champion Martin Lewis last month said it would be a "national act of self harm" if the government does not maintain the cap at its current levels – warning it would have severe consequences not just for those on low incomes, but could also cause issues elsewhere including worsening inflation. 

Speaking to the BBC's Today programme on speculation energy companies are preparing for the increase to be cancelled, Lewis said: "So, we're not at the smoking gun stage that this is definitely happening – but I would say that we're at an 85% likelihood that the price won't be going up."

Dominic Raab interviewed by lawyer for bullying probe

The justice secretary and deputy prime minister is currently under investigation for accusations of bullying – with allegations emerging in November last year. 

Among alleged incidents are staff being "scared" to enter his office, claims that he was "demeaning and aggressive" to staff, and allegations he threw tomatoes across a room in a "fit of rage". Concerns about Raab were also reportedly flagged with the Cabinet Office.

According to PA, Raab has now been quizzed by Adam Tolley KC - the lawyer leading the investigation. 

Dominic Raab

Raab has maintained his innocence against bullying accusations, but on Sunday said if he were found guilty of the allegations he would resign. 

"Look, if an allegation of bullying is upheld, I will resign," Raab told Sky News on Sunday. 

No 10 has consistently claimed Rishi Sunak was unaware of accusations of bullying about Raab when he was appointed to his roles by the Prime Minister. 

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