Boris Johnson's downing Street party report by Sue Gray be damning?

The long wait for Sue Gray’s findings is nearly over now that the Metropolitan Police has closed their investigation and issued the final round of fines.

Boris Johnson's downing Street party report by Sue Gray be damning?

The long wait for Sue Gray’s findings is nearly over now that the Metropolitan Police has closed their investigation and issued the final round of fines.

It is expected that the senior civil servant will publish her Covid-rule-breaking parties report at No. 10 next week, while Parliament is still sitting. The prime minister will then make his promise statement in the Commons.

Boris Johnson's critics hope that the Gray report to "Partygate", will show the extent of law-breaking under his watch in primary colors.

But, will it be as catastrophic as they want?

According to Downing Street, officials have not yet seen the complete report and have not attempted to reduce it.

According to insiders, Ms Gray won't deliver a fatal blow to the PM even though it will be "damning" for the civil service.

According to a source familiar with the report, Ms Gray believed that there was evidence suggesting that he was not well advised and was not aware of the events he was getting into.

Johnson will have to be resolute if the report exposes what one Conservative senior describes as "industrial" rule-breaking in the heart of government.

In January, Ms Gray published her initial update. It was incomplete with details about any gatherings that the police were investigating. An anonymous source who has seen the details of Gray's report said that she wouldn't have signed it on if she knew that the police would delay it.

However, the interim report provides strong clues as to her probable final conclusions.

She lamented the failures in leadership and judgment by different sections of No 10 as well as the Cabinet Office at different points.

She stated that certain gatherings "shouldn't have been allowed" to grow as they did.

It is possible that the details of the gatherings could now be made public, and will be presented unflatteringly within the context of the rules at the time. This poses a risk for the prime minister.

She will likely reveal details about events that the police didn't investigate or for which they didn't issue any fines.

We know for example that Carrie Johnson did not receive a Fixed Penalty Notification for an alleged Downing Street event which Ms Gray is investigating - but it could still be a poor verdict in court of public opinion.

Ms Gray stated that she had already said: "Too little thought was given to what was going on across the country in consideration the appropriateness of some gatherings... and how it might appear to the general public."

It is almost certain that the opposition will have examples of grieving families or parties for young children on the same day as Ms Gray's Downing Street events.

The simple act of registering the prime minister's attendance at certain events might prove to be uncomfortable.

While Ms Gray can confirm the events attended by Mr Johnson, but she may not be able to answer any questions, many of his adversaries want to know more details like whether he knew the exact nature of an event prior.

Johnson, for example, maintained that he believed implicitly that the Downing Street event, which saw some people being fined, was a work event.

Even if Ms Gray claimed it was not, she simply cannot challenge his "belief".

We know that Ms Gray submitted a lot of evidence to the Met. They claim they have seen more than 500 photos.

We are told that there was a debate over data protection, which could limit what can be put in public domain. Sources at the top of government suggest it is unlikely that the photographs will be included.

This could stop Ms Gray's reproduction of WhatsApp messages.

Sources suggest that she wouldn't have published all evidence in any case.

Ms. Gray has sought independent legal advice about what information she can publish and how to do it.

If she feels they are relevant to her story, she may quote from WhatsApp messages and emails. However, it is unlikely that she will reveal all verbatim exchanges.

People close to Sue Gray's inquiry team believe that the Civil Service or parts thereof will receive the majority of her ire.

She won't think highly of people who might not have met her professional standards.

A senior official in government told BBC that advisers convinced themselves that they were not breaking any rules.

He claimed that Johnson should have been kept on the straight and narrow by senior civil servants like the prime minister's principal personal secretary (PPS), and the head for propriety, ethics and propriety.

His PPS was, of course, Martin Reynolds, who sent the controversial "bring-your-own-booze" invitation to the event in the Downing Street garden in May 2020.

Helen MacNamara, the head of propriety & ethics at the beginning of lockdown was promoted to the post of deputy cabinet secretary in spring 2020.

She acknowledged that she was issued a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), for attending a colleague’s June 2020 leaving party.

Whitehall however, felt that Johnson had shown a lack of curiosity about the rules.

Concerns have been raised about the support provided to those who were fined for being lower-ranking.

Sam Jones, Downing Street's chief operating officer and permanent secretary, sent an email to staff in March when fines started coming in. She said that she was available for help.

Ms Gray doesn't intend to name junior civil service members. However, I was told that there has been a lively debate about which senior names she will include in her report.

There is no obligation on any official, whether within government or not, to admit that they have been fined.

However, if they are identified in Gray Report with any of the eight events that resulted in fines being issued, some fear they may face disciplinary action. This is why attempts to keep names down are made to minimize the risk.

As such, the Gray report's evidence may not be as explosive as critics think.

However, this doesn't mean that the full report will not cause any harm to the prime minister.

The cross-party Privileges Committee is also investigating Mr Johnson for allegedly misleading Parliament. He initially maintained that all rules had been followed within No 10.

Gray's report could provide ammunition for the inquiry. However, Conservative critics who had considered moving against the prime Minister may now be able to wait until the committee has reached a conclusion.

Even with the publication the complete Partygate report, it is unclear what the consequences will be. It's a gray area.

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