Investigation into Alleged Gatherings on Government Premises During Covid Restrictions

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 7th June 2022.

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Photo of Angela Eagle Angela Eagle Labour, Wallasey

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the report entitled Findings of second permanent secretary’s investigation into alleged gatherings on government premises during covid restrictions, on what date and at what time officials in (a) his Department and (b) Downing Street, who were not involved in its production, were granted sight access to review that report. of the Sue Gray report entitled Findings of second permanent secretary’s investigation into alleged gatherings on government premises during covid restrictions before 25th May 2022.

Photo of Angela Eagle Angela Eagle Labour, Wallasey

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, on what date and at what time (a) he or and (b) staff in his private office were granted access to review the Sue Gray report entitled Findings of second permanent secretary’s investigation into alleged gatherings on government premises during covid restrictions.

Photo of Angela Eagle Angela Eagle Labour, Wallasey

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, on what date and at what time (a) the Prime Minister, (b) his chief of staff and (c) other officials, Ministers and special advisers in Downing Street were granted access to review the report entitled Findings of second permanent secretary’s investigation into alleged gatherings on government premises during covid restrictions prior to its publication on 25 May.

Photo of Angela Eagle Angela Eagle Labour, Wallasey

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, on what date and at what time (a) he or and (b) staff in his private office were granted access to review the Sue Gray report entitled Findings of second permanent secretary’s investigation into alleged gatherings on government premises during covid restrictions.

Photo of Michael Ellis Michael Ellis Paymaster General, Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)

The report was sent from the Second Permanent Secretary to the Permanent Secretary of No 10 Downing Street after 10am on the day of 25 May 2022 for the purposes of providing the report to the Prime Minister to enable publication.

I understand that prior to publication, letters were sent on a confidential basis from the Second Permanent Secretary to those in the report who may be perceived to be criticised in some way, including some who were intended to be named. The letters set out a gist of the factual findings proposed for inclusion in the report so that those individuals had an opportunity to make representations to the Second Permanent Secretary before publication.

I also understand that a small number of officials were made aware, in their roles as employers, of the identity of those intended to be named and those who may be potentially identifiable in the context of the report, so that they could consider any relevant duty of care to those individuals.

Neither I, nor my private office, accessed or reviewed the report prior to publication. My officials have informed me that no other Minister of the Crown was granted access to review the report prior to 10am on the day of publication.

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