Prime Minster Boris Johnson has apologised in the Commons for “the things he didn’t get right” during the national lockdowns.
This follows the release of Sue Gray’s report to the Cabinet Office regarding professional misconduct within the premises of 10 Downing Street from May 2020 – April 2021.
The investigation disclosed information on 16 breaches of lockdown restrictions throughout the pandemic, most notably, unauthorised gatherings between members of the Cabinet and staff within No.10.
The report alleges there were “failures of leadership and judgment by different parts of No 10 and the Cabinet Office.”
Boris Johnson has told MPs that he accepts the findings of the report into lockdown parties and pledges he will shake up No.10, proclaiming: “I get it and I will fix it.”
Prime Minster Johnson announced to the Commons that a new Office for the Prime Minster is to be established as well as a secretary for 10 Downing Street in order to prevent further breaches of protocol.
Labour leader Keir Starmer claims that the PM is “taking the public for fools” and he is hiding behind the police investigation.
Key Points to note within the Sue Gray report:
- The investigation delved into the alleged violations of social distancing protocol at 10 Downing Street.
- It listed several incidents in relation to gatherings within 10 Downing Street’s garden, Cabinet offices as well as Boris Johnson’s personal residence in his flat.
- The report referenced the garden party on May 13, 2020, proclaiming the gardens should be exclusive for residents of No.10 and No.11 Downing Street.
- It added that there was an excessive consumption of alcohol in several work environments.
- It concluded by praising the efforts of civil servants, minsters and the entire nation who “rose to the challenge” of the pandemic.
- Some staff wanted to speak out about the behaviour at No.10 however they felt unable to do so.
Sue Gray’s report remained limited given key details were refrained due to the ongoing investigation into these allegations by the Metropolitan Police.
The report comes as Tory backbenchers remain conflicted whether to continue supporting Boris Johnson as PM.