The Leader

Sue Gray Partygate report unlocked

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Episode notes

Sue Gray’s report into Downing Street partying during Covid lockdowns has finally been published, and it’s left the Prime Minister battling for political survival.

We’d already seen that fuzzy shot of Boris Johnson with a glass held aloft, and now there’s more images featuring convivial drinks and food, one of which features Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

The top civil servant’s report criticises what’s described as an “excessive” drinking culture in Whitehall, which often broke lockdown rules when the rest of Britain was under house arrest, as well as other revealing shocking treatment of cleaning and security staff.

The report will make galling reading for many Britons, particularly those prevented from seeing sick relatives because of the rules.

At PMQs Mr Johnson repeated his apologies, and said he took responsibility, while Scottish National Party leader Ian Blackford led calls for him to resign. 

The Evening Standard’s political reporter Rachael Burford has been covering developments as they happened.

She examines what the Gray report means for the PM’s political future and how Downing Street is trying to deflect attention away from the scandal.

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