The ‘partygate’ report detailing parties at Downing Street and the Cabinet Office during Covid restrictions has been published in full.
The dossier, completed by senior civil servant, Sue Gray, reveals multiple breaches of Covid rules were broken at the heart of Government, with a number of images showing Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak in attendance.
The report details gatherings involving a karaoke machine, someone so drunk they vomited, wine spilled over walls and a minor altercation between two staff members.
Throughout the report, which can be read in full here, Gray also criticises senior leadership in Government. Key points include: “Whatever the initial intent, what took place at many of these gatherings and the way in which they developed was not in line with Covid guidance at the time.
“The senior leadership at the centre, both political and official, must bear responsibility for this culture.
“The public have a right to expect the very highest standards of behaviour in such places and clearly what happened fell well short of this.”
In the conclusion of her report, Gray outlines her initial findings from her interim report in which she says a “failure of leadership” for the parties in Downing Street – “still stand”.
She adds: “Whatever the initial intent, what took place at many of these gatherings and the way in which they developed was not in line with Covid guidance at the time.
“Even allowing for the extraordinary pressures officials and advisers were under, the factual findings of this report illustrate some attitudes and behaviours inconsistent with that guidance.”
She says the police investigation shows “a large number of individuals” were involved.
There are also instances of unacceptable treatment of security and cleaning staff detailed within the report.
The senior civil servant points to her previous finding that staff had witnessed or been subjected to behaviours at work “which they had felt concerned about but at times felt unable to raise properly”.
This time she adds examples, saying: “I was made aware of multiple examples of a lack of respect and poor treatment of security and cleaning staff. This was unacceptable.”
But Gray again says she is “reassured to see that steps have since been taken to introduce more easily accessible means by which to raise concerns electronically, in person or online, including directly with the permanent secretary in No 10.
“I hope that this will truly embed a culture that welcomes and creates opportunities for challenge and speaking up at all levels.”
It is believed Prime Minister Boris Johnson will attend a press conference later today in response to the report, but this has yet to be confirmed.
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