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Lockdown parties report published

The 12-page document indicates that “poor conduct” was displayed by government staff at Downing Street, with behaviour that was “difficult to justify” given the restrictions being faced by the rest of the country. 

The gatherings were described as a failure of the high standards expected of those working in government, with “too little thought” being put into the appropriateness of such gatherings and their impact on public health. 

The culture of the Downing Street workplace was also questioned heavily, with Gray commenting on the excessive consumption of alcohol and individuals socialising in the garden when this was prohibited. A number of individuals were also reported to have felt that they were unable to raise the alarm over the behaviour they were witnessing, something Gray draws attention to in the key findings of her report. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other ministers will face questions over the findings of the report, given his previous claims within the House of Commons that he was unaware of any parties which may have taken place within 10 Downing Street. 

There were a substantial number of individual gatherings which breached lockdown rules acknowledged in the report, however not all were thoroughly investigated by Sue Gray. 12 of the 16 listed, including events held in the Prime Minister’s flat at 10 Downing Street, have been referred to the Metropolitan Police, who will carry out further investigations into whether laws have been broken. 

In a statement given to the House of Commons, Boris Johnson said: “I’m sorry for the things we simply didn’t get right and sorry for the way this matter has been handled. It isn’t enough to say sorry, this is a moment that we must look at ourselves in the mirror and we must learn… I get it and I will fix it”.

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Emily Kelly

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June 2022
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