Sue Gray report imminent as deadline to register objections passes
The final Sue Gray report into partygate could be published this week, reports suggest.
Gray was charged with conducting an internal inquiry into claims of lockdown rule-breaking in Downing Street and Whitehall.
It is understood that she is now finalising her report and its release could take place within days.
The government said the full report would be published after the conclusion of the Metropolitan Police's £460,000 criminal inquiry, known as Operation Hillman. It ended last week following the issue of 126 fixed penalty notices to 83 people, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his wife Carrie Johnson and the Chancellor Rishi Sunak. It is not known if other ministers were issued with the fines, but the Johnsons and Sunak have said they have paid their £50 penalties for attending a birthday celebration for the PM's 56th birthday.
Those set to be named in Gray's report were given notification of this over the weekend and had until 5pm on Sunday to register objections. The BBC reports that none were lodged.
An interim verion of Gray's report was published in January. It was critical of "failures of leadership and judgement" and said some events held in government premises should not have been "allowed to take place". However, no individuals were named.
Appearing on BBC One's Sunday Morning programme, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said releasing all evidence would be "the right thing to do".
It is understood that Gray's inquiry took in hundreds of images and that some of these may be published with the final report.
In the same interview, Zahawi insisted Johnson would not "interfere or intervene in the report". That comes after it emerged that the PM and Gray had held a meeting several weeks ago.
The Gray inquiry was ordered amidst public outcry over allegations of lockdown parties, many with alcohol, emerged. While letters of no confidence in Johnson were submitted, these fell short of the number needed to trigger a vote.
However, the PM now faces a further probe into partygate as the Commons' Privileges Committee investigates whether or not he lied to parliament when telling MPs that no laws had been broken in Downing Street. That process will follow the publication of Gray's findings.
Ministers who knowingly mislead the House of Commons are expected to resign.