The hidden meanings in the Sue Gray report into Downing Street parties


A limited version of the report into Downing Street lockdown parties has criticised a “serious failure” to observe the high standards expected of those working at the heart of government.

The findings from senior civil servant Sue Gray have been published in a 12-page document.

Sky’s deputy political editor Sam Coates has been going through the document line-by-line. Click on the highlighted text to read his explanation of why that passage is significant.

Gray investigated gathering in PM’s flat

• 13 November 2020 – a gathering in the No 10 Downing Street flat.

Number of gatherings ‘should have not have been allowed’

• A number of these gatherings should not have been allowed to take place or to develop in the way that they did. There is significant learning to be drawn from these events which must be addressed immediately across government. This does not need to wait for the police investigations to be concluded.

Gray could not provide ‘meaningful report’ after Met Police intervention

• 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.

Evidence of other gatherings won’t be shared in full with PM yet

• I will… ensure the secure storage and safekeeping of all the information gathered until such time as it may
be required further. I will not be circulating the information internally within government.

Gray attacks ‘failure of leadership’

• There were failures of leadership and judgment by different parts of No 10 and the Cabinet Office at different times. Some of the events should not have been allowed to take place. Other events should not have been allowed to develop as they did.

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