Carmichael raises concerns about political interference in Sue Gray report release

Liberal Democrat Political Reform spokesperson, Alistair Carmichael MP, has today challenged the government in Parliament after apparent attempts to slow the release of the Sue Gray report into social events in Downing Street during the national lockdown. This morning the Metropolitan Police announced an investigation into Downing Street parties after being passed evidence by senior civil servant Sue Gray, and government sources briefed that the police action would prevent the original report being published.

Media reports have since indicated that the police would not block the Sue Gray report being release, raising questions over government attempts to block publication. In a point of order in Parliament, Mr Carmichael highlighted the issue and asked for clarity on how Parliament could ensure the speedy publication of the Gray report.

Speaking after the parliamentary intervention, Mr Carmichael said:

“In the hours since the Metropolitan Police announced that they would belatedly begin an investigation into the Downing Street parties, there appeared to be an attempt by No 10 to assert that this police enquiry would be a block on Sue Gray’s report being released. Now it has emerged that the Met themselves are happy for her findings to be made public as soon as possible – which raises the question of political interference in the report’s release.

“Any decision on the publication of the Sue Gray report should be a matter for her team and, if necessary, Parliament – not the prerogative of the Prime Minister she is investigating. We cannot simply wait for months on end for the police investigation to conclude in order to get the basic facts of the Johnson parties set out in black and white. Parliament and the public must have clarity in days, not weeks.”

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