Sue Gray’s review of Covid parties could “end” Johnson’s premiere, the report says

Boris Johnson may be forced to resign after the Sue Gray review of allegations of violations of Covid rules in government has been made public, according to a report.

Ms Gray, a senior official, was forced to delay the publication of her investigation into alleged parties held in Downing Street and Whitehall during England’s coronavirus lockdowns due to the Metropolitan Police launching their own investigation.

In a preliminary report published in January, the Cabinet Office official said there had been “failure in leadership and judgment” in No. 10 over the so-called partygate saga.

The Times, quoting an official it described as familiar with the contents of the full report, said Mrs Gray’s full findings were even more personally critical of the prime minister and could end his presidency.

According to the newspaper, the official said: “Sue’s report is exciting. It will make things incredibly difficult for the Prime Minister.

“There’s a huge pressure on her – her report may be enough to end him.”

No 10 declined to comment.

It comes amid separate reports in the newspaper that conservative rebels are preparing to oust Mr Johnson in the event of a poor performance in next month’s local elections or if further fines are issued to him.

Police continue to investigate allegations of Covid breach in No. 10
Police continue to investigate allegations of Covid breach in No. 10 (Stefan Rousseau / PA)

Scotland Yard has already fined Mr Johnson, along with his wife Carrie and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, for attending his 56th birthday party in June 2020, when Covid rules banned indoor gatherings.

Downing Street is said to be prepared for Mr Johnson to receive another fixed fine notice (FPN) after police allegedly began issuing fines in connection with a “bring your own bottle” of drinks in Garden No. 10 on the 20th. May 2020.

He reportedly attended half of the 12 rallies investigated by police.

Cabinet ministers on Sunday offered a defense by the prime minister, with Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden suggesting it was “quite a speculation” to predict that Mr Johnson could be hit by more FPNs.

He and Brexit Opportunity Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg supported Johnson to lead the Tories into the next parliamentary elections, which are currently scheduled for January 2025.

Sue Gray has so far only published a preliminary report on her partygate investigation
Sue Gray has so far only published a preliminary report on her partygate investigation (Stefan Rousseau / PA)

Sir. Dowden told Sky News that there was a “very strong case for the prime minister to remain in office” despite increasing pressure from his own port side to stop him.

Senior backers, including former Secretary of State Steve Baker, have put their heads above the breastplate in recent weeks to urge Mr Johnson to leave Downing Street after his handling of the offenses.

According to the i, the Prime Minister’s critics have started working in a coordinated way and “holding back” to wait for the local election results or for additional FPNs to arrive at Mr Johnson’s inbox.

The newspaper cited other reports that some insurgents have drafted letters of no confidence to be forwarded en masse to the 1922 committee of MPs in the back seat of Tory if the party were to strike a blow at the polls on 5 May.

Sir. Dowden has admitted that the council election will be “challenging”.

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