UNITED KINGDOM — London police on Friday denied delaying a long-awaited government report into the Downing Street reopening parties that put Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s future at risk.
Weeks of so-called “Partygate” revelations forced Johnson to order a senior official to look into the allegations, and his report was due out this week.
But the inquest has yet to be released, suggesting that police involvement this week could prevent full details from being released.
Johnson’s spokesman said the government wanted to ensure the internal report did not “cross over” the police investigation so as not to prejudge future court cases.
“We are in no way trying to block the report,” he told reporters.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed in a statement that they do not want details released of detectives investigating possible breaches of coronavirus legislation.
“For events investigated by the Met, we have requested a minimum reference in the Cabinet Office report.
“The Met did not ask for restrictions on other events in the report or for the report to be delayed,” she added.
“We have been in constant contact with the Cabinet Office, including on the content of the report, so as not to jeopardize our investigation.”
The “Partygate” revelations prompted Johnson to be called out amid widespread public and political anger for breaking rules set by the government itself.
The delay in Gray’s report gave the beleaguered Prime Minister some breathing space after promising to address Parliament once it was published.
But most MPs are in their home constituencies on Friday and will not return to parliamentary work until Monday.
Johnson’s opponents accuse him of misleading Parliament – which is considered a resignation under the Ministers’ Code – by insisting the events were work-related.
He pledged to “continue the work” and hopes the report will put an end to the case.