On Friday, London police denied delaying a long-awaited government investigation into the Downing Street lockdown-breaking parties that have placed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s tenure in peril.
Following weeks of “party gate” disclosures, Johnson appointed a senior civil servant to investigate the allegations, and her report was set to be released this week.
However, the fact-finding probe has yet to be released, leading concerns that police participation this week may hinder full disclosure.
According to Johnson’s spokesperson, the administration sought to make sure the internal report would not “cut across” the police investigation in order to avoid jeopardizing any future legal actions.
“We are not attempting to prevent the report from being released,” he told reporters.
The Metropolitan Police stated in a statement that it did not want specifics of the investigation into possible breaches of coronavirus legislation to go public.
“We requested that the Cabinet Office report make only a passing mention to the incidents under investigation by the Met.”
“The Met did not request any restrictions on other events in the report, nor did it request that the report be delayed,” it said.
“We’ve been in contact with the Cabinet Office on a regular basis, including about the content of the report, to avoid jeopardizing our investigation.”
Due to massive public and political outrage at the government’s own rules being broken, Johnson has been called to resign as a result of the “partygate” disclosures.
Gray’s report has been delayed, giving the beleaguered prime leader some breathing room after he vowed to address parliament as soon as it was released.
However, most MPs will be in their home constituencies on Friday and will not return to Parliament until Monday.
Johnson’s critics accuse him of deceiving parliament which, according to the ministerial code, is grounds for quitting by claiming the events were work-related.
He has promised to “get on with the job” and believes that the report would put an end to the investigation.