The criminal investigation into alleged lockdown parties in Downing Street will uncover more evidence threatening Boris Johnson’s future as prime minister, according to former staff who worked at Number 10.
Civil servant Sue Gray’s highly anticipated report about alleged lockdown parties in Downing Street and across Whitehall could be published today (January 26), after the police said it will not impede their own investigation into the scandal that has been dubbed “partygate”.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick confirmed on Tuesday (January 26) that her officers will investigate “a number of events that took place at Downing Street and Whitehall in the last two years in relation to potential breaches of Covid-19 regulations”.
The police inquiry is expected to uncover far more evidence from former and current staff about the alleged breaches than that submitted to the Cabinet Office investigation led by Gray.
“[Government] Officials who don’t tell Sue Gray the whole truth will not hold back from the cops,” surmised a senior Tory, quoted in the Guardian, who said the police investigation makes it a “different ballgame” compared to Gray’s inquiry.
Other damaging stories will come out until PM is gone’
Dominic Cummings – who managed to cling on to his role as the PM’s chief special advisor (SPAD) despite breaching Covid restrictions to take his family to Durham and Barnard Castle – explained that not all evidence will be submitted to Gray’s inquiry because of fears of retribution and damage to their careers.
“I know others [among Downing Street staff] are very worried about handing things to the Cabinet Office because they know the PM will see everything SG [Sue Gray] collects,” Cummings said.
“This inevitably means that evidence, including photos, is not given to her and instead will keep leaking after her report. (To stress, this is a consequence of beliefs about the PM’s integrity, not SG’s.)
“Other damaging stories will come out until he [Johnson] is gone.”
Cumming’s gives written evidence to stop PM inventing nonsense and lies
Cummings gave written evidence to Gray’s inquiry rather than in person so that prime minister cannot “invent nonsense and spin it to the media”. Johnson’s former right-hand man said he is willing to answer further questions in writing and stated on his substack blog: “When SG [Sue Gray] asked to speak to me I emailed to the effect: if we speak the PM will invent nonsense and spin it to the media and you and I will both have problems, let’s keep everything in writing, therefore he cannot invent things I’ve supposedly said to you, there is only a written record, this makes both our lives easier.
“She agreed. So I have answered questions in writing and will answer further questions in writing if she wants.
“But I will not speak and therefore provide the PM with more chances to lie and confuse everybody.”
‘Proper cop’s cop’ to lead police investigation into Downing Street parties
Described as “one of the Met’s toughest operators” in the Telegraph, deputy assistant commissioner Jane Connors, will lead the police investigation into the alleged Downing Street breaches, in her role as Gold Commander of the force’s Special Enquiry Team (SET).
Connors is a described as “a proper cop’s cop” and the “epitome of no nonsense”, with the Met “lifer” entrusted, as “one of Dame Cressida Dick’s most trusted lieutenants” to head the team which will decide if illegal gatherings were held around Whitehall.
“Jane just gets on with the job,” said a Scotland Yard source. “Nothing intimidates her, she takes it all in her stride. She is very plain speaking and certainly won’t be taken in by a load of Latin phrases.”