Partygate: Who is Sue Gray, what is the Sue Gray report, is the Partygate report being released today, was she a pub landlord and all you need to know

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SUE Gray has gone from an influential but little-known arbiter of conduct in government to a household name in the space of five months.

The civil servant took on the investigation into allegations of coronavirus rule-breaking at No 10 in December 2021, and Downing Street is braced for the Cabinet Office official’s long-awaited report.

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Before the Metropolitan Police completed its own inquiry into so-called ‘partygate’ claims, which saw Boris Johnson fined for contravening Covid laws, Ms Gray was seen as holding the fate of the Prime Minister in her hands.

The Sue Gray report is expected to be released today (May 25).The Sue Gray report is expected to be released today (May 25).
The Sue Gray report is expected to be released today (May 25).
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Boris Johnson ‘sorry’ after Sue Gray’s report criticises ‘failures of leadership...

But who is Sue Gray and when will the Sue Gray report be released?

Here's everything you need to know:

Who is Sue Gray?

Sue Gray is a former publican turned civil servant who is now in charge of the investigations into the Downing Street parties during lockdown.

Ms Gray is married to country singer Bill Conlon and the couple ran a pub in Newry, Northern Ireland, at the height of the Troubles in the late 1980s.

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According to her government biography, Ms Gray started working for the Cabinet Office in the late 1990s following her stint behind the bar in Northern Ireland during a ‘career break’.

After her time as head of ethics in the Cabinet Office, she served as the permanent secretary of the Department of Finance in Northern Ireland from 2018 to 2021.

In her former role as director-general of propriety and ethics in the Cabinet Office from 2012 to 2018, she is said to have overseen cabinet reshuffles, served as a guiding hand in compiling honours lists, and even signed off political memoirs before their publication.

Ms Gray’s reviews of senior cabinet ministerial behaviour in the past have led to high-profile sackings and resignations.

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Former prime minister Theresa May tasked her with investigating her close ally, Damian Green, over allegations that he had lied about the presence of pornographic images on his Commons computer, and she also spearheaded the so-called ‘plebgate’ inquiry into claims that then-chief whip Andrew Mitchell insulted police officers on Downing Street.

Since May 2021, she has been back in the Cabinet Office as second permanent secretary with responsibility for the Union, in a role that also sees her with responsibilities in Michael Gove’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

What is the Sue Gray report?

The Sue Gray report is an internal investigation into the Downing Street parties during the pandemic.

Ms Gray, who is in her mid-60s, found herself thrust into the limelight last year after being chosen to step in to lead the investigation into possible wrongdoing in Downing Street after Cabinet Secretary Simon Case – her boss – recused himself following allegations that his own office held a Christmas event in December 2020.

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What is expected in the report?

In the report, Ms Gray is expected to give further details of the lockdown gatherings and could even name those who broke Covid rules.

The Met Police have not named any of those who have broken the rules, including 28 recipients of multiple fines.

The report could look into some of the questions that were raised following the end of the Met investigation, including prime minister Boris Johnson attending a leaving party for Lee Cain on November 13, 2020, but failing to receive a fine after they were issued to others.

The full report may also give some insight into who was advising the prime minister.

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What was in the initial report?

Ms Gray delivered an initial report earlier this year but delayed the publication of the full report until the Met had finished their investigation.

It highlighted the ‘failures of leadership and judgment’ at the top of Government, along with criticisms of a drinking culture in No 10.

During the Met investigation, the force issued 126 fixed penalty notices to 83 individuals.

Since the Met wrapped up its investigation last week, an increasingly bitter briefings war has broken out in the media between No 10 and Ms Gray’s team, with one unnamed source telling The Times that she had been ‘enjoying the limelight a little too much.’

Allies of Ms Gray have rejected the suggestion.

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When will the full report be released?

It is expected that the full report will be released this week and Mr Johnson has promised to update MPs after its arrival.

The Commons will pay tribute to the Queen on Thursday, May 26 followed by a week of recess, so it is likely to be released today (May 25).

The expected delivery of the report is that Ms Gray would send it to No 10 in the morning and it would be published by Downing Street soon after, with Mr Johnson addressing MPs that afternoon.