Salem Radio Network News Monday, August 15, 2022

World

UK police call for limits on so-called ‘partygate’ report

By James Davey

LONDON (Reuters) -An inquiry into COVID-19 lockdown-breaking gatherings in Downing Street that might determine the future of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson could be further delayed after the police asked for the report to make only “minimal reference” to those events.

Johnson, facing the gravest threat to his premiership over the alleged lockdown-busting parties at his residence and office at Number 10, has so far weathered growing calls to resign over the events, asking for lawmakers to wait for the report.

The report, led by senior civil servant Sue Gray, is looking into several allegations that staff, and Johnson, attended parties in Downing Street in breach of the rules they had themselves imposed on the population to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

It had been expected to be released this week, but that time scale was derailed when on Tuesday, London’s Metropolitan Police said they had opened an investigation into some of the events to assess whether criminal offences had been committed.

Officials are working on ways to publish Gray’s report without compromising the criminal investigation, and some lawmakers fear that it will be watered down, offering little insight into what happened in Downing Street under lockdown.

It could, some lawmakers say, also be delayed.

“For the events the Met is investigating, we asked for minimal reference to be made in the Cabinet Office report,” the Metropolitan Police, or the Met, said in a statement.

“The Met did not ask for any limitations on other events in the report, or for the report to be delayed, but we have had ongoing contact with the Cabinet Office, including on the content of the report, to avoid any prejudice to our investigation.”

Gray’s report, which she will deliver to Johnson before it is published and presented to parliament, is seen as crucial to his fate, and he and his ministers have said people should not reach any conclusions before its release.

Johnson’s spokesman has said the prime minister does not believe he broke the law over any of the gatherings and that Downing Street want the report to be published as soon as possible.

Earlier on Friday, a minister said the report had yet to be handed to Johnson’s office.

“I spoke to someone in Downing Street about half an hour a go and they certainly didn’t indicate that it had been received,” Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy Chris Philp told Sky News.

“I’ve certainly got no information as of right now that it’s been received.”

(Reporting by James Davey; writing by Elizabeth Piper, editing by Guy Faulconbridge, Kate Holton and Mark Heinrich)

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