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Sue Gray report: Key findings revealed as it says lockdown gatherings ‘difficult to justify’

The long-awaited Sue Gray report has delivered a damning assessment of parties at Downing Street and in Whitehall during the COVID pandemic.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said sorry in the House of Commons after the report stated parties at Number 10 represented a “serious failure” and were “difficult to justify”.

The embattled Conservative leader faces acute pressure to resign as Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner branded the report findings “sickening”.

Mr Johnson has “lost the confidence of the British public” and must go, she said.

A redacted version of the report was published on Monday afternoon – as Number 10 said it “cannot confirm” if the full report will ever come to light.

Read more: Live reaction to the Sue Gray report as the Common debates its findings

Here, Sky News outlines the most important points in the report.

  • Sue Gray concludes that “a number” of gatherings “should not have been allowed to take place or to develop in the way that they did”
  • She finds that “at least some of the gatherings represent a serious failure to observe not just the high standards expected of those working at the heart of government but also of the standards expected of the entire British population at the time”
  • Ms Gray believes there were “failures of leadership and judgment by different parts of Number 10 and the Cabinet Office”
  • An event at the Downing Street flat on 13 November 2020, the day Dominic Cummings left Number 10, is confirmed as being one of 12 events being investigated by the Metropolitan Police
  • Sue Gray acknowledges she was “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 analysing the extensive factual information I have been able to gather”
  • But she does say “some staff wanted to raise concerns about behaviours they witnessed at work but at times felt unable to do so”
  • She adds: “The structures that support the smooth operation of Downing Street have not evolved sufficiently… the leadership structures are fragmented and complicated and this has sometimes led to the blurring of lines of accountability”
  • She concludes: “There is significant learning to be drawn from these events which must be addressed immediately across government” and that “this does not need to wait for the police investigations to be concluded”


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