Long-awaited British ‘partygate’ report handed to Prime minister Johnson’s office

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has received an update on the internal inquiry into alleged parties at his Downing Street residence that breached coronavirus lockdown restrictions, the Cabinet Office said in a statement on Monday. 

Johnson, facing the gravest threat to his premiership over the alleged lockdown-busting parties at his residence and office at Number 10 Downing Street, has so far weathered growing calls to resign by asking angry lawmakers to wait for the report by senior civil servant Sue Gray.

“We can confirm that Sue Gray has provided an update on her investigations to the Prime Minister,” a Cabinet Office spokesperson said.

“The findings will be published on gov.uk and made available in the House of Commons library this afternoon and the prime minister will then provide a statement to the house when people have had the opportunity to read and consider the findings,” the spokesman added.

The public and political anger over what has been called the “partygate scandal” in the UK and the apparent double-standards has put Johnson’s position in jeopardy, prompting speculation he could be ousted or be forced to resign

But doubts about Johnson’s immediate future subsided after London’s Metropolitan Police said on Friday they had opened an investigation into some of the events to assess whether criminal offences had been committed. They asked for the report to make only “minimal reference” to those events.

‘Wait and see’

Johnson’s political opponents have accused him of misleading parliament by insisting the events at Downing Street were within the rules at the time and were work-related.

Ministers found to have broken the rules are normally under pressure to resign but earlier Monday, Johnson told reporters: “I stick absolutely to what I’ve said in the past…You’re going to have to wait and see the outcome of the investigations.”

Weeks of media reports about more than a dozen gatherings – including a “bring your own booze” party in the Downing Street garden – have provoked widespread public anger, fuelling the perception that the political elite failed to stick to the tough lockdown rules they set for the rest of the country.

Johnson has apologised for errors that were made and said he attended one garden party thinking it was a work event, but has rejected calls to quit.

Nevertheless, collapsing opinion poll ratings have unnerved lawmakers in his own party, raising the prospect that they could trigger a confidence vote in his leadership. Several have already publicly called for him to quit.

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