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by Joseph Anderson
28 January 2022
Sturgeon says Downing Street party scandal 'gets murkier by the minute'

Metropolitan Police officers outside 10 Downing Street, London. Scotland Yard is now investigating "a number of events" in Downing Street and Whitehall in relation to potential coronavirus regulation breaches

Sturgeon says Downing Street party scandal 'gets murkier by the minute'

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said the Metropolitan Police's inquiry into the Downing Street parties scandal "get murkier by the minute", after the force confirmed it had asked civil servant Sue Gray to limit publishing certain aspects of her investigation.

The results of Gray’s inquiry into lockdown parties in Downing Street, and whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson had prior knowledge of said parties, had been expected to be released this week.

However, the Met Police has asked Gray to make “minimal reference” to events they are now investigating.

In response to questions from journalists about any role the force may have had in seeking to delay the report, the Met released a statement, reading: “For the events the Met is investigating, we asked for minimal reference to be made in the Cabinet Office report.

“The Met did not ask for any limitations on other events in the report, or for the report to be delayed, but we have had ongoing contact with the Cabinet Office, including on the content of the report, to avoid any prejudice to our investigation.”

In response, Sturgeon tweeted: "This gets murkier by the minute. Sue Gray and the Met are in difficult positions but the sequence of events and the situation arrived at now creates the suspicion - however unfairly - that the process of inquiry is aiding Johnson at the expense of public accountability.

"I doubt Johnson cares about damage to the reputations of others - individuals or institutions - as long as he saves his own skin. But these things matter.

"Rapid conclusion and full publication of the findings of inquiries surely now essential for public trust."

The Met had previously said it would not be launching an investigation into the Downing Street parties – said to be held while gatherings were illegal – but on Tuesday, Met Commissioner Cressida Dick announced the force had launched its own inquiry after being handed information by Gray.

The report has been eagerly-awaited by politicians and the media, but the police intervention now casts doubt on how much information Gray will be able to release to the public.

Read the most recent article written by Joseph Anderson - Government document reveals Derek Mackay signed off on ferries contract

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