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25th Jan 2022

Met probe could be good news for PM as Sue Gray report delayed

Ava Evans

Long-awaited report into Downing Street parties will not be published this week

Sue Gray will not publish her inquiry into No 10 lockdown breaches until the Met police have concluded their investigation, reports on Tuesday suggested.

The revelation came minutes after commissioner Cressida Dick confirmed that the Met has launched an investigation into parties held at Downing Street and Whitehall during covid lockdowns, in a major U-turn for the force.

The Cabinet Office is unable to publish the Gray report while a criminal investigation is underway, giving Boris Johnson a little breathing room from a scandal that has threatened to end his leadership.

Gray’s report was set to be published this week.

The delay could buy Johnson a short respite, as it’s understood some Tory MPs were waiting on her findings before submitting a letter of no-confidence in the Prime Minister.

Several Tory MPs have already confirmed they have put in letters of no-confidence to the chair of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady.

If 15% of Tory MPs file letters, it will trigger a vote of confidence in the PM.

If he loses, he will be removed from post.

The Met’s probe could buy Johnson some time, but it’s unclear whether Tuesday’s development will push more MPs into ousting him sooner rather than later.

Labour has said the Jonson’s leadership is now untenable.

In a statement, Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “With Boris Johnson’s Downing Street now under police investigation, how on earth can he think he can stay on as Prime Minister?

“Millions of people are struggling to pay the bills, but Boris Johnson and his government are too wrapped up in scandal to do anything about it. Boris Johnson is a national distraction.”

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford called on Tory MPs to submit letter of no confidence in the Prime Minister.

He said: “Tory MPs must finally do the decent thing and remove him from office. If they fail to act, they will destroy any last remnants of public trust in this arrogant and out of touch Tory government.

“People in Scotland are looking on in horror at the sleaze and corruption that has engulfed Westminster”.

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