Sue Gray report: The key points on Downing Street parties
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Furious Tory MPs have hit out at Sue Gray’s appointment as Sir Keir Starmer’s Chief of Staff, with one MP describing it as a “socialist stitch-up”. The senior civil servant oversaw the damning report into the Partygate scandal which was highly critical of Boris Johnson and his Government. She was appointed Sir Keir’s Chief of Staff yesterday.
Multiple Conservative MPs have called for an inquiry into Ms Gray, with Marco Longhi telling the Daily Express that her appointment is an “extraordinary situation”.
He said: “Everybody knows that the Civil Service is rarely impartial – but this isn’t even pretending that it isn’t.”
Last night, former Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg said the senior civil servant’s impartiality “must now be called into question”, calling for an inquiry into her conduct.
The former Leader of the House of Commons said it was a “deeply troubling” situation and that her Partygate report and the evidence she’d handed over to police, had effectively been “invalidated”.
Meanwhile, Lord Cruddas of Shoreditch – who is closely involved with the Bring Back Boris campaign – said the privileges committee investigation into whether Mr Johnson misled the Commons over Partygate “should be cancelled because the Sue Gray report into Boris was sent to Privileges committee un-redacted as evidence”.
Writing on Twitter, he added: “She even appointed an anti-Boris barrister to help her with the report. It is a Labour stitch-up from start to finish.”
Marco Longhi told the Daily Express: “The biggest threat to the Labour Party was removed by them and a leftwing establishment stitch-up.
“Boris Johnson appointed Sue Gray trusting her impartiality. She then expressed opinions about Boris. Opinions we now know were not impartial. She also sought advice from legal people who openly support Labour.
“There should be an inquiry into Sue Gray herself. What contact did she have with the Labour Party for her to suddenly become Labour Chief of Staff?
“This is an extraordinary situation. Everybody knows that the Civil Service is rarely impartial – but this isn’t even pretending that it isn’t. How can any Minister now feel they can rely on impartial advice?
“Boris Johnson was one of the most successful Prime Ministers who has been removed by a socialist stitch-up aided by a feeding frenzy of leftwing media.”
Ms Gray, a senior civil servant who has spent decades at the heart of Government, currently runs the Union and Constitution Directorate at the Cabinet Office.
Her report into the Partygate scandal saw her investigate 15 events on 12 dates between May 2020 and April 2021, all of which involved people gathering during Covid lockdowns.
Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson attended eight of these events, some of which appeared notably drunken and rowdy.
Sir Keir previously admitted to knowing Sue Gray “personally”.
Speaking to LBC on January 2022, Sir Keir said: “Full disclosure, I know Sue Gray because I was director of public prosecutions, she was a senior civil servant, so I know her personally. She has got huge integrity and huge respect.”
Speaking about Ms Gray’s appointment as Sir Keir’s Chief of Staff on GB News, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “She should now be considered an official opposition spokesman. Ms Gray is an effective and diligent administrator. I worked with her when I was in the Cabinet Office, and I was impressed by her. But her impartiality must now be brought into question.
“The neutrality of the civil service is a fundamental part of our constitution, vital for a functioning and trusted democracy.
“It is hard not to feel that she has been rewarded and offered a plum job for effectively destroying a Prime Minister and creating a coup. This blows apart the idea of Civil Service impartiality. This appointment stinks.
“Her report brought down the First Minister of the crown, who had a majority of 80 from the electorate. This appointment invalidates her Partygate Report and shows that there was a socialist cabal of Boris haters, who were delighted to remove him.
“The former PM accepted her two reports on the strict understanding that she was impartial and that now looks wrong.
“Instead, there should be an investigation into her and into her appointment. We should have an inquiry into what she has done in her contact with Labour while she’s been a civil servant, particularly those with the office of the Leader of the Opposition.
“Her report is discredited along with the testimony that was collated by her. That’s why there must be a proper inquiry.”
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