LONDON (AP) — The British government on Monday released part of a senior official’s report into social gatherings held by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his staff while the United Kingdom was under lockdown from the coronavirus.
Sue Gray was assigned to investigate 16 occurrences between May 2020 and April 2021 at government buildings. Of these, police are investigating 12, with four gatherings considered to have failed to meet the threshold for a criminal investigation. Gray’s partial report from Monday was only allowed to discuss the four gatherings that were not investigated by police. Once the police are done, they are allowed to produce a full report, but the Conservative government has not promised to release it.
Here are some key points from Gray’s partial report.
— “In the context of the pandemic, as the government asked citizens to accept significant restrictions on their lives, certain behaviors surrounding these gatherings are difficult to justify.”
– “Sometimes it seems that too little thought has been given to what is happening across the country when considering the relevance of some of these gatherings, the risks they pose to public health and how they might appear to the public. “
– ‘At least some of the gatherings in question represent a serious failure to uphold not only the high standards expected of those working at the heart of government, but also the standards expected of the wider British population at the time.’
– “There have been lapses in leadership and judgment by different parts of No 10 and the Cabinet Office at different times. Some events should not have happened. Other events should not have developed as they did.
— “Excessive alcohol consumption is not appropriate at any time in a professional workplace. Steps should be taken to ensure that each department has a clear and robust policy in place regarding alcohol consumption in the workplace.
— “Some staff members wanted to raise concerns about behaviors they had witnessed at work, but sometimes felt unable to do so. »
— “There are important lessons to be learned from these events that need to be addressed immediately across government. It doesn’t need to wait for police investigations to be concluded.