Sunak refuses to say he has confidence in Sue Grays Partygate report

Angela Rayner defends Labour's appointment of Sue Gray

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Rishi Sunak has refused to give former civil servant Sue Gray’s report into Partygate his vote of confidence. The Prime Minister was asked publicly for the first time on the issue since Ms Gray, one of Whitehall’s most senior civil servants, quit to become Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s chief of staff.

During at a press conference in Downing Street on the new Illegal Migrants Bill, Mr Sunak was asked directly by LBC about the Sue Gray scandal.

Ms Gray, who was supposed to be impartial, has accepted a job with Labour at a time when she is the key witness in the Privileges Committee investigation into whether Boris Johnson lied to Parliament about Partygate.

Both Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak were fined during the affair for having cake on Mr Johnson’s birthday minutes before the two had a Covid meeting in the Cabinet Room.

The journalist asked: “On Sue Gray, do you have faith in the integrity of her report into Partygate?

But Mr Sunak avoided giving Ms Gray’s integrity a vote of confidence in the issue.

He said: “On Sue Gray, as you know the Cabinet Office is reviewing the circumstances of her departure.

“I am not going to preempt their findings, I am not going to comment further on that situation.”

Tory backbenchers have been clamouring for the inquiry into Mr Johnson to be ditched claiming that it is now “tainted.”

Meanwhile, Starmer has refused to say when he opened talks with Ms Gray about becoming his chief of staff but insisted “nothing improper happened.”

Questions have also been asked about Ms Gray’s connections with Labour with her son chairing the party in Ireland.

However, it is understood she left the civil service as a result of her promotion being blocked by Cabinet Secretary Simon Case when Kemi Badenoch attempted to make her the chief mandarin in the new trade and business department.

The Cabinet Office is currently reviewing the circumstances of the case and when she can be allowed to take up a job with Labour.

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