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Sue Gray report on Downing Street parties has been published, outlining ‘serious failures’ from the Government

todayFebruary 1, 2022 114

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Sue Gray's report released, with 'serious failures' to be addressed by the Government.

The official Sue Gray report, into Downing Street and Whitehall gatherings, has been published. 

The report is a condensed version, as the Metropolitan Police asked for some factors of the investigation to be taken out, whilst they conduct their own. 

However, the report highlights that the behaviour surrounding the gatherings, at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic, ‘difficult to justify’. 

 

The investigation surrounds the findings that government figures were in breach of their own COVID-19 restrictions over a 20-month period between 2020 and 2021. Over past weeks, people of the UK have expressed feelings of disappointment and untrust in the government and the current Prime Minister.

A list of 10 known events has been under investigation by independent civil servant Sue Gray. Today, 1 February, a shortened report was published.

She wrote in the first published report:

“At least some of the gatherings in question represent a serious failure to observe not just the high standards expected of those working at the heart of Government but also of the standards expected of the entire British population at the time.”

This addresses the nation’s need to hold the government to account, as the media has shared many stories of those who stuck to rules, despite loved ones being alone, dying in hospitals. And for those who could not care for the vulnerable, or earn money, or provide essential needs for their families.

It has been said  individuals have been fooled and mocked by the government they put trust in at uncertain times. There have been many calls that The Prime Minister should resign, as the extent of the events cannot be upheld.

However, we are still waiting on a full response from the PM, which may still be addressed in full alongside the Metropolitan Police findings.

 

The general theme of the findings, from Ms Gray are that those involved, currently unnamed, acted carelessly with ‘little thought’ to the situations across the UK. 

When addressing the theme of the gatherings, Sue Gray reports that, ‘the excessive consumption of alcohol is not appropriate in a professional workplace at any time.’ 

There is a clear message following, suggesting that alcohol in the workplace and its policy should be tackled. Although it isn’t the most important issue of the inquiry, the nature surrounding the use of alcohol and large groups of people, which were banned at the time, is wrong. 

Furthermore, the reoffended location, the Downing Street garden is also named to be an inappropriate use of the space and judgement from people who were present at the No 10 gatherings. 

“The garden at No 10 Downing Street should be primarily for the Prime Minister and the private residents of No 10 and No 11 Downing Street. During the pandemic it was often used as an extension of the workplace as a more covid secure means of holding group meetings in a ventilated space… but the garden was also used for gatherings without clear authorisation or oversight.”

Before concluding the shortened report, of the Downing Street and Whitehall events, Ms Gray made a point regarding the voices of all staff within Parliament. She speaks about how staff should be able to raise concerns, in this case the behaviours of some government members, informally and with confidence. This too should be addressed. 

The leadership of the British Government, namely under the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson is said to be ‘fragmented’ and ‘blurring lines of accountability’. 

Is there too much responsibility and expectation now, from someone who has lost so much public trust? Today, Ed Davey, Leader of the Liberal Democratic Party has again said ‘the Prime Minister has to go.’

The Government is being urged to address the report and its findings immediately. 


Sky News, Youtube, 2 February. 

The Edge Radio News team will update any responses.

Follow the Edge Radio Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

Written by: Heather Davey

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