I have now read Sue Gray’s report (https://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/21193251/investigation_into_alleged_gatherings_on_government_premises_during_covid_restrictions_-_update.pdf)
What to make of it ? It seems to be the ultimately dry civil service report, doing what was required of it in as limited a way as possible, very severely constrained by the fact of the police investigation which does not allow her to comment in any detail on the gatherings which may or may not have been legal, which is a matter for Scotland Yard. She makes it clear that 10, Downing Street was pandemonium during the pandemic with no clear lines of responsibility and no leadership, but it is not clear whose responsibility this should have been, not apparently either the Prime Minister or the Cabinet Secretary, neither of whom are mentioned.
So, is everyone let off the hook ? Not exactly, because it is now up to the police to decide whether or not some of the gatherings were criminal.
Besides, it surely avoids the key issue. The key issue is whether or not the Prime Minister lied to the House of Commons when he said that there were no parties, when it now transpires there were at least sixteen, several of which he attended.
And did he lie to the House of Commons when he said that he was as shocked as they were when he discovered that parties had been held, when it now transpires that he had attended several of them ?
If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then, of course, he should resign for having knowingly misled the House. But he is obviously not going to, so it is the duty of MPs to remove him.
Will they ?
It will presumably depend on a calculation as to whether or not his apparently shameless dishonesty will influence the next election and whether or not they can hold up their heads in front of the electorate for having allowed a liar to remain in office.
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