UK 'partygate' report blames culture of PM Boris Johnson's office
- The report is published by senior civil servant Sue Gray
- It noted Downing Street's failure in 'leadership and judgment'
- There is "no excuse for some of the behaviour," Gray said
A full report into the 'partygate' scandal published on Wednesday said the "senior leadership" in UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government must "bear responsibility" for the culture which led to breakage of coronavirus lockdown rules.
The report by senior civil servant Sue Gray noted Downing Street's failure in 'leadership and judgment'.
The Second Permanent Secretary in the Cabinet Office, Gray, investigated 16 gatherings attended by UK PM Johnson and his staff in 2020 and 2021 while the country was in a COVID-19 lockdown.
There is "no excuse for some of the behaviour," she added.
“Those in the most junior positions attended gatherings at which their seniors were present, or indeed organized," Gray said.
Boris Johnson, who has previously apologised but insisted he didn’t knowingly break the rules, will address Parliament on the report's findings later Wednesday.
Johnson was under fire recently after new images surfaced of him with a drink in hand. Released by ITV News channel, the visuals show the British PM at a farewell drinks party on November 13, 2020, for which at least one person is believed to have been fined by Scotland Yard.
A police investigation into what is dubbed as the Partygate scandal resulted in 83 people, including Johnson, getting hit with fines.
The British media and opposition politicians have found that hard to square with staff member's accounts of “bring your own booze” parties and regular “wine time Fridays” in the prime minister’s 10 Downing St. office at the height of the pandemic.
Gray's first draft, which came out in January, criticized the “failures of leadership and judgment” that allowed the parties to take place, and it described a Downing Street operation marked by excessive drinking and dysfunctional dynamics.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan and several opposition leaders called for an explanation from the Metropolitan Police why the UK Prime Minister was not handed a second fine after the second set of pictures came out.