Liz Truss Confirms Downing Street Hasn't Yet Received The Sue Gray Report
Downing Street was yet to receive the Sue Gray report as of early Wednesday morning, Foreign Liz Truss confirmed.
The Foreign Secretary said the senior civil servant, who is looking into multiple alleged lockdown parties held in Downing Street and Whitehall, had not yet given her findings to the Prime Minister amid heavy speculation that the report could be published as soon as Wednesday.
"It's a matter for Sue Gray when she sends that report, once she's completed her work," Truss told Sky's Kay Burley.
She said the government was committed to publishing as much of the report as possible but added that "security issues" could result in some parts of it remaining confidential.
"We have been absolutely clear that we will publish the findings of the report," Truss continued.
"We don't yet know the content of the report and there could be security issues that mean parts of it are problematic to publish, but we will absolutely publish the findings of the report".
On a frenzied day in Westminster on Tuesday, Cressida Dick's announcement that the Met police had decided to launch an investigation into multiple alleged parties prompted confusion over how it would impact the timing of Gray's own report into the accusations which have rocked Johnson's leadership.
PoliticsHome understands there was confusion within government over how the latter would be affected, amid suggestions that it could be delayed by several weeks.
However, the expectation now is that Gray will go ahead with publishing her findings in the coming days. Whips were last night telling Tory MPs that it could land as soon as today.
Truss confirmed to Burley that she didn't learn that Downing Street was being investigated by the police until after leaving yesterday's meeting of Cabinet, despite the Prime Minister finding out beforehand.
"Personally, I was aware after Cabinet," Truss said. "The police operates independent from the government so it's right that the government finds out after the police have made that decision."
She also said she neither attended nor was invited to any parties held in Downing Street or Whitehall while lockdown restrictions were in place, putting her at odds with the Prime Minister.
Johnson yesterday spent several hours meeting Conservative MPs in a bid to shore up his support, PoliticsHome last night reported. It was a "real mixture" of Tories, not just those elected in 2019 who are unhappy with his leadership, according to multiple sources.
Allies of the Prime Minister also contacted wavering MPs and teased them with government jobs in a bid to dissaude them from submitting letters of no confidence once Gray publishes her report.
Multiple Tory MPs who have spoken to PoliticsHome about Johnson's precarious position in recent weeks have said they would wait for the Gray report before deciding whether to submit letters.
A veteran Conservative MP yesterday remarked that many of their colleagues had not yet backed up their damning words about the Prime Minister by making a move to oust him.
“When I chat to colleagues, many of them say ‘he can’t survive, he’s got to go'. But most of them haven't actually submitted letters," they said. "The Tory party isn’t as ruthless as people like to think, it’s actually surprisingly spineless".
A challenge to Johnson's leadership will be triggered if 15% of Conservative PMs — 53 people — submit letters of no confidence to the chair of the 1922 committee, Sir Graham Brady.
So far only a handlful of Tory MPs have gone public to say they have submitted a letter, and a source told PoliticsHome they believed that several have since been recalled.
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