Politics latest news: Sue Gray has right to name senior officials fined over partygate, says Dominic Raab




  • In World
  • 2022-05-19 19:33:46Z
  • By The Telegraph
Sue Gray is set to publish her full report into the partygate scandal next week - AP
Sue Gray is set to publish her full report into the partygate scandal next week - AP  
  • Sue Gray demands to name partygate ringleaders

  • Acting Met police chief  accused of lack of transparency

  • Jon Snow's 'obscene anti-Tory rant' hurt Channel 4, says Nadine Dorries

  • Nancy Pelosi issues Brexit US trade deal warning  

  • Russia-Ukraine latest: Zelensky calls offensive in Donbas 'hell'

Dominic Raab has insisted it is up to Sue Gray whether she names senior civil servants who have been fined over the partygate scandal in her widely-anticipated report.

The Justice Secretary said the naming of names "is a question for Sue Gray" as he argued "independent processes" must be allowed to "come to their conclusions in the right way".

He said ministers who have been fined have already been named and added: "Whether it is right in relation to civil servants I think is a question for Sue Gray and the Metropolitan Police."

Ms Gray, the senior civil servant originally tasked with looking into claims of lockdown-breaking gatherings in Downing Street, is set to publish her full report next week after the Metropolitan Police concluded its probe into the scandal.

She is expected to issue scathing criticism of senior political and Civil Service figures, calling into question why illegal social gatherings were allowed to take place.

With her report now being finalised, Ms Gray is in discussion with Civil Service human resources and legal teams, as well as trade unions, to determine how explicitly she can point the finger.

​​Follow the latest updates below.

08:40 AM

DUP responds to Nancy Pelosi Brexit warning

The US Congress will not support a free trade agreement with the UK if the Government persists with "deeply concerning" plans to "unilaterally discard" the Northern Ireland Protocol, House speaker Nancy Pelosi has said (you can read the full story here).

Ms Pelosi cited concerns about damage being done to the Good Friday Agreement.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the leader of the DUP has now responded to Ms Pelosi and said that if she wants to see the Good Friday Agreement protected then "she needs to recognise that it is the protocol that is harming and undermining the agreement and that is why we need to deal with it".

He told the BBC: "We will not re-enter the political institutions in full until we see decisive action taken on the protocol, that is the mandate I sought from the people of Northern Ireland and on the strength of the votes that we received we have made clear to the Government that decisive action is required."

08:37 AM

'We remain very much in the dark about who was involved'

Lord Macdonald, a former director of public prosecutions and a crossbench peer, said the nation is still "very much in the dark about who was involved" in the partygate scandal and that is "not good enough".

He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "We don't know who these people are, and I do feel for the junior civil servants and I quite see why they would be distressed by their names being given, but there's a wider public interest here.

"This was a major scandal at the heart of Government, at the heart of the civil service, and we remain very much in the dark about who was involved, who organised the parties, and who was responsible.

"Of course the Prime Minister and the head of the civil service are ultimately responsible, but there plainly were other people as well who were involved in this and we simply don't know who they are, and I think that's not good enough."

08:22 AM

Labour: Tories 'unable to take basic decisions'

The "dysfunction" at the heart of the Conservative Party will continue until the Tories get rid of Boris Johnson as leader, the chair of the Labour Party claimed this morning.

Anneliese Dodds told Sky News: "The major consequence of this, and it will continue for as long as Boris Johnson leads the Conservative Party, is that that party seems to be unable to take pretty basic decisions.

"Labour has been calling for that windfall tax to get people's bills down for many, many months. We have been calling for VAT to be taken off energy bills, again, for many months, and yet the Conservatives don't seem to be able to take that very basic decision.

"There is dysfunction at the heart of the Conservatives now and it seems like that is going to continue until they get rid of their leader."

08:19 AM

Labour: Tories are 'paralysed' by partygate

Anneliese Dodds, the chair of the Labour Party, was asked during an interview on Sky News this morning if it is still Labour's position that Boris Johnson should quit after the police partygate investigation concluded and the PM finished with one fine.

Ms Dodds said: "Our response has been the Prime Minister should resign because he has continually failed to take any responsibility over this and because he has lied repeatedly to Parliament, time and time again.

"He didn't just say that he didn't know that he was breaking the rules, he actually said… that there were definitely no parties, that none of this took place and just month after month we have seen those attempts at justification, at blaming other people and meanwhile, while his party has been focused relentlessly on trying to protect Boris Johnson, it should have been focused relentlessly on dealing with the cost of living crisis.

"The Conservatives just seem to be totally paralysed right now."

08:03 AM

Early increase to Universal Credit not 'off the table'

Dominic Raab was grilled this morning on what more the Government could do to help combat the cost-of-living crisis.

He was asked specifically if an early uplift to the value of Universal Credit or a windfall tax are actively on the table and he replied: "Well, nothing is off the table but if you are asking what we are doing as opposed to what we have already done, and there is a £20 billion package of support to address those cost of living challenges, so in July there will be an around £300 tax cut by National Insurance for 30 million workers.

"In October there will be extra relief on energy bills… about to the tune of £200. That is on top of the national living wage, the UC changes we have already made and the council tax relief we have already provided."

07:58 AM

Soaring inflation 'will be with us for a year or so'

Elevated levels of inflation in the UK are likely to last for "a year or so", according to Dominic Raab.

The Deputy Prime Minister told BBC Breakfast: "CPI inflation is at nine per cent but how it hits different families different backgrounds, different income, will depend on the basket of shopping or the bills that they have week-by-week.

"What I will tell you is it is high, it will be with us for a year or so, according to the forecasts, and we are doing everything that we can [to help on the cost of living crisis]..."

07:53 AM

Dominic Raab praises Rishi Sunak after he makes rich list

Dominic Raab, the Justice Secretary, has praised Rishi Sunak after the Chancellor joined The Sunday Times Rich List.

Mr Raab told Times Radio: "He's a fantastic example of someone who's been successful in business, who's coming to make a big impact in public service.

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