The much-awaited Sue Gray report on alleged parties that took place over the lockdown periods has been made public, causing widespread backlash from students all over the country.
Sue Gray is the Second Permanent Secretary in the Cabinet office and she was asked to investigate the Downing Street Parties. Her report was made public on 25th May 2022, after the MET police has completed their investigation of the same.
The report is 60 pages long and investigates every probable party that may have happened in 10 Downing Street. Gray says that 13 gatherings had been attended by Johnson, four of which the MET did not deem necessary for investigation.
Gray shows that there were in total 83 people who have attended the parties, and breached Covid-19 guidelines. The attendees were both junior and senior Conservative party members.
Other than Johnson himself, Gray named many other MPs to have been in the parties. Amongst them, Martin Reynolds stands out.
Reynolds is the former principal private secretary to the prime minister. This role includes heading the office of the prime minister at 10 Downing Street.
According to the report, Reynolds has become the person in charge of such gatherings. He also earned the nickname “party Marty.”
Further, Whatsapp texts show that Reynolds knew that these gatherings were in breach of Covid-19 guidelines. He responded to such claims via text saying, “got away with it.”
Other people who attended the gatherings include Simon Case, Dominic Cummings, Helen MacNamara, Rishi Sunak, Cleo Watson and Matt Hancock. All of them are senior party members and hold high offices in the cabinet.
Boris Johnson’s earlier claims about attending the party only for five minutes have also been proven otherwise. One of the parties went on until 4 am and there are reports of people throwing up due to alcohol intake as well.
The misrepresentation of facts has not gone down well with both MPs and students. MPs have regularly said that Johnson should resign for misleading the public.
A student responded to our The Mancunion survey commenting, “The real crime in ‘partygate’ is the misleading of parliament rather than the fact that the party took place itself. Still unfortunate and appalling behaviour by those who supposedly lead us.”
Gray also found that many of the Downing Street staff were uncomfortable with such parties. However, they did not have the confidence to speak up against them, due to ill-treatment from attendees.
The Prime Minister’s questions (PMQs) that followed the publication of this article had many asking for Johnson’s resignation. However, Johnson apologised to the commons for these parties but has not expressed an intention to resign.
Students largely agree with this statement of wanting Boris Johnson to resign. In a survey carried out earlier, a student stated, “They’re vile liars and I don’t know how they sleep at night.”
Students are also unhappy with the conclusion of the police report. One of them said, “Icing on the cake of the whole scandal is how they were only fined £50 when normal people were fined £10,000 for doing the same thing.”
The Prime Minister has also accepted that he had breached Covid-19 regulations. However, the Prime Minister does not seem likely to leave his role as the Prime Minister.
A student responded stating the same. They said, “They should resign, but the tories are so abhorrent that they won’t.”
The entire Sue Gray report can be found here.