BORIS Johnson could finally get sight of the highly-anticipated “partygate” inquiry as early as this weekend, after police insisted they had not delayed its publication.
The report is an official investigation by senior civil servant Sue Gray into possible lockdown breaches in Downing Street and Whitehall during the Pandemic.
The publication of the long-awaited Gray report into alleged lockdown-busting parties was thrown into disarray on Tuesday when Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, who had long resisted calls to investigate, announced her officers had opened a criminal probe.
Scotland Yard confirmed on Friday evening that it had received the material requested from the Cabinet Office to support its investigation.
The force said officers would now examine this “without fear or favour” to establish whether any rules were broken.
The Met had been criticised by legal experts and Tory MPs for urging Ms Gray to limit the publication of her investigation into allegations of lockdown-breaking parties in No 10.
But the force insisted on Friday evening that it had not delayed publication of the report.
Commander Catherine Roper, who leads the Met’s Central Specialist Crime Command, said the timing of the document’s release was a matter for the Cabinet Office.
The PM will also get a copy of the report over the weekend, or in the coming week.
It is expected it will be sent to No 10 shortly, as opposed to in a matter of weeks or months.
But it is understood that it will comply with any police requests, meaning certain details could be excluded.
Downing Street declined to comment on the Met statement.
The Cabinet Office did not offer further comment on when the report would be published.
It said Ms Gray’s investigation continues, there is ongoing contact with the police and the findings will be made public. The department added that it would not speculate further on the inquiry being carried out by the senior official.
Ms Roper said the force had asked for “minimal reference” to be made in the report to the “relevant events”, in order to “protect the integrity of the police investigation” and be “as fair as possible to those who are subject to it”.
“This will only be necessary until these matters are concluded, and is to give detectives the most reliable picture of what happened at these events. We intend to complete our investigations promptly, fairly and proportionately,” she said.
“We have not delayed this report and the timing of its release is a matter for the Cabinet Office inquiry team.”
Additional Reporting by PA Media