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British government briefings accusing Sue Gray of “playing politics” condemned by minister | Gray report


The high-ranking minister condemned the briefings of the British government, accusing civil servant Sue Gray of “playing politics” with his quick report on parties violating the blockade, while claiming that it was Gray who sought meetings with Boris Johnson discuss the process.

Daily Mail on Monday cited a series of anonymous government “insiders” accusing Gray, a high-ranking official tasked with investigating meetings on Downing Street, of “playing politics and getting too much attention.”

Asked if he condemned such briefings, Simon Clark, secretary general of the Treasury, told Sky News: “I would.”

He added: “I think the only thing I would say about Sue Gray and I have never met her, but I have heard a lot about her, is that by reputation she is one of the most brutally independent and professional public employees in the whole government and brings a wide range of experience, so I don’t think there is any policy here ”.

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Gray’s report, postponed after metropolitan police began a parallel investigation into violations of the blockade on and around Downing Street, is due to be presented this week and could potentially do much harm to the prime minister.

Ahead of his exit, controversy focused on a personal meeting between Gray and Johnson, and who instigated it. Gray’s team declined the request.

Clark said, however, that he believes so, and said the meeting was only used to discuss “process specifications”, such as who could be named in the report.

“There are many practical issues here that need to be addressed in terms of, for example, who can be named in this report and the extent to which photographic evidence can be included. It is important that these practical dimensions are addressed, ”Clark said.

“The question of whether any of them are mentioned in this report, the question of what evidence is included in it, is not easy here and is really sensitive to the lives and careers of people and public profiles.

“I don’t think this meeting was anything other than a discussion of the technical intricacies of the process. It would be really wrong to deny that the nature of this report has been pressured in any case. “

Saying he “absolutely” believes in Johnson, regardless of what was set out in Gray’s report, Clark said Johnson apologized for his fine for violating the blocking rules, and that Others were fined 126 should be viewed in a broader perspective.

“I think we also need to remember, not justifying what happened, but as a context, the extraordinary pressure that a group of people were under during the pandemic,” he said.

“They worked the longest hours imaginable, under the greatest pressure. This in no way diminishes the seriousness of what happened, but gives a certain context. “


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