Downing St events show ‘serious failings’

William James, Kylie MacLellan and Michael Holden |

A report into parties held at UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’ Downing Street office during coronavirus lockdowns says some gatherings represented a serious failing by those working at the heart of government.

“At least some of the gatherings in question represent a serious failure to observe not just the high standards expected of those working at the heart of government but also of the standards expected of the entire British population at the time,” the report by senior civil servant Sue Gray said.

Gray said it was “not possible at present to provide a meaningful report” setting out all she discovered due to an ongoing police investigation.

“As a result of the Metropolitan Police’s investigations, and so as not to prejudice the police investigative process, they have told me that it would only be appropriate to make minimal reference to the gatherings on the dates they are investigating.

“Unfortunately, this necessarily means that I am extremely limited in what I can say about those events and it is not possible at present to provide a meaningful report setting out and analysing the extensive factual information I have been able to gather.”

Johnson is due to make a statement on the findings in the House of Commons at 3.30pm (2.30am AEDT on Tuesday).

Johnson will address a meeting of all Conservative MPs behind closed doors in parliament at 6.30pm.

with reporting from PA and AP