British PM Boris Johnson on the brink for lockdown drink after damning report

London, UK - A limited version of the report into parties held by the UK government during lockdown has criticized a "serious failure" to observe the high standards expected of those working at the heart of government.

British PM Boris Johnson is under pressure to resign after a report into parties held at Downing Street during lockdown was published.
British PM Boris Johnson is under pressure to resign after a report into parties held at Downing Street during lockdown was published.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Sue Gray's findings were published online as Boris Johnson prepared to face members of Parliament in a desperate fight to save his premiership.

In a carefully-worded statement, the Cabinet Office said Gray had provided an "update" on her investigation to the prime minister, suggesting it was not the full report she was preparing before the Metropolitan Police intervened.

Scotland Yard last week asked Gray to make only "minimal reference" to gatherings being investigated by its officers.

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Downing Street has so far refused to commit to publishing a fuller version of Gray's findings once the police investigation has concluded.

The version of Gray's report published online said "it seems there was too little thought given to what was happening across the country in considering the appropriateness of some of these gatherings, the risks they presented to public health and how they might appear to the public."

The Downing Street garden was used for gatherings "without clear authorization or oversight" in a way that was "not appropriate."

The report reveals 12 events are being investigated by the police for breaking coronavirus regulations, including a gathering in the Downing Street flat and an event to mark Boris Johnson's birthday in June 2020.

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Police are investigating several parties held the government headquarters, which means that Sue Gray's report is incomplete.
Police are investigating several parties held the government headquarters, which means that Sue Gray's report is incomplete.  © IMAGO / NurPhoto

While Gray makes some broad findings about "failures of leadership and judgment" in parts of No. 10 and the Cabinet Office, her report makes clear that the police investigation prevented more substantial findings being presented.

"As a result of the Metropolitan Police's investigations, and so as not to prejudice the police investigative process, they have told me that it would only be appropriate to make minimal reference to the gatherings on the dates they are investigating."

"Unfortunately, this necessarily means that I am extremely limited in what I can say about those events and it is not possible at present to provide a meaningful report setting out and analyzing the extensive factual information I have been able to gather."

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Johnson told British lawmakers that he was "sorry for the things we simply didn't get right and also sorry for the way that this matter has been handled."

That didn't stop him from getting torched by the opposition, with the Labour party leader Keir Starmer saying he was "unfit for office" and calling for the Conservatives to remove Johnson through a vote of no confidence.

Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

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